Young, Gifted & Black Series
By Taki S. Raton
His passion for a love of treats combined with a tenacious entrepreneurial spirit has led our YG&B feature this week to start and brand his own cookie company enterprise.
He is young, gifted & Black. Fifth grader Corey Nieves is the proud founder and CEO of Mr. Cory’s Cookies, an enterprise anchored in 2009 when he and his mother, Lisa Howard, moved to Englewood, New Jersey.
Howard and her son originally lived in New York City, writes NorthJersey.com staff writer Stephanie Noda, where an abundance of public transportation makes it easy to live day-to-day without a car.
But when the two moved to the New Jersey suburb, things were different.
“It’s a nice area, but the bus comes every hour,” said Howard in Noda. “We were going crazy. My son would come with me to take the bus, but often we would miss it.”
One day, after missing the 166 NJ Transit bus on Grand Avenue, as described in the post, Corey had enough and said to his mother, “Mom, I can’t take it anymore. I think I want a car.”
When Howard asked the then 5 year-old how they might raise money to purchase a vehicle, one single idea came to his mind – “Selling cookies.”
This vision was by no means a new experience for young Corey.
Prior to moving to Englewood reports Noda, this blossoming entrepreneur sold hot cocoa at Chelsea Piers on the west side of Manhattan every other Saturday.
So now in Englewood with this peculiar challenge before them, Corey and his mother began researching recipes and ingredients on Food Network websites, reviewing a variety of cooking magazines and together watching cooking television shows.
With ingenuity, creativity and commitment to a vision, he would soon craft his own chocolate chip cookie recipe.
He would additionally include oatmeal raisin cookies in his sales menu to accommodate customers with diabetes.
“What kid doesn’t want to bake cookies for a living?” ask Howard as quoted in Noda.
“It’s a fabulous thing that he has a gig where he can sell his business and love what he does at such a young age.
That will make him an amazing adult.”
Corey plunged ahead with his venture selling cookies, lemonade and hot cocoa in front of his Englewood home and at the local Englewood Roman Inn. “It was fun,” he says.
“There were a lot of people buying.” But eventually and maybe even predictably, the city’s Health Department shut Corey down for selling cookies in front of his home.
“He was really discouraged and sad,” said Howard in Stefanie Tuder’s ABC News August 7, 2014 posting. But his experience provided an opportunity to receive assistance towards incorporating the business legally.
As revealed in NewJersey.com, this assistance would come from Tod Wilson, owner of West Hudson Avenue’s Mr. Tod’s Pie Factory and an acquaintance of the family.
Wilson shared with young Cory how to run and promote a business lending tips on marketing, how to properly price his product and helping him to create a logo.
“He has a desire to want to be good,” said Wilson in Noda. “The kid is talented, hardworking and has a never-gets-down personality. I expect big things from Cory.”
As a result of Wilson’s assistance, Cory, according to published accounts, has grown his business over these past five years and is able to sell his cookies at Mr. Tod’s Pie Factory, the Englewood Farmer’s Market, and Closter Farmer’s Market.
His mother adds in an ABC News interview that, “Now, he does a lot of events with local car dealerships, hospitals, hair salons, banks and a lot of corporate offices where we live in Englewood.”
Mr. Cory’s Cookies are 50 percent organic and 100 percent natural, free of preservatives.
The 11 different varieties include Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin, Madagascar, Healthy Melty, Lemon, Peanut Butter, Walnut Chocolate Chip, Double Dark Chocolate Chip, White Chocolate Chip, and White Chocolate & Macadamia Nuts. His prices are $10 for a dozen, $18 for two dozen, and $34.99 for a platter of 36.
During this summer, cites Tuder, Cory’s days are booked solid with events and marketing.
Once school starts, mother Howard will spend her days attending to his deliveries.“He loves checking his emails,” she says.
“He’s really outgoing with it. He learns math really well and with his business more than in school. Sometimes, the school he goes to incorporates what he does into the curriculum. The kids love it.”
His fan base on his Instagram page has a reported 3,000 followers. And to Cory, it’s about the total package with his impeccable style “boss threads” in assorted selections, also an attraction for his page.
His favorite looks are suits, linen pants, linen shirts, sports coats with a pocket hanky, printed ties with a Windsor knot, and square-frame glasses.
Also an aspiring actor and model, the young CEO has appeared in featured campaigns for Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger.
“People first look at my style and ask, “Who dresses you? Your mom?” And my mom says, “Do you see what I have on? I need my son to dress me!” as quoted in Margot Peppers’ August 11, 2014 Mail Online posting.
One fan’s comment on his Instagram page expressing admiration as noted in Peppers that, “This kid is seriously dapper.”
He says in Noda that he and his mother plan to set up a non-profit to create a program for children in low income families.
“I want to teach them how to bake and not to be scared.”
Our young trailblazer has already taken this step when on August 7, he hosted a cooking class at Kidville, a local Englewood children’s center.
While sporting a white chef’s hat, a white apron decorated with cookie designs, and his signature oversize glasses, Cory instructed 16 children ranging in age from 2 to 6 on how to mix ingredients to create cookies.
“You know those kids are tiny, right? And I’m teaching them,” he says in Noda. “It was actually really good. But sometimes you had to shake the bell for their attention.”
Although his business has successfully grown since the days of selling cookies, hot cocoa and lemonade in his front yard, mother Howard is still without a car, making it difficult to keep up with demands and market to local bakers.
With a goal of raising $10,000, Howard and her son have recently turned their attention to the crowdfunding site, GoFundMe.com. Donors can pledge to different levels in order to receive a variety of cookie dough to make their own Mr. Cory’s Cookies at home.
Funders will also receive recognition on the company’s website and an autographed “Mr. Cory” flyer in the mail.
His mother says in Tuder that, “I figure at the end of the day, running a business is going to teach him structure, how to be a man, how to take his life seriously, and how to have morals.”
Looking ahead, businessman Cory has visions of expanding his cookie business venturing one day to open his own storefront, but also he additionally has a concentration on raising money for college with a focus on learning the ins and outs of the business universe.
“I want to be bigger than the billions, probably in the infinites,” he says in in the NorthJersey posting.
Those interested in learning more about Mr. Cory’s Cookies can link to his website at: www.mrcoryscookies.com