Do you make a signature dish that people tell you is so delicious you could sell it? MarcQus Wright took compliments about his baking seriously and did what few others do. His brother suggested the name Daddy’s Dough Cookies during a family brainstorming session in 2015, and the business was launched. MarcQus studied Michigan’s Cottage Food Law before he began baking and selling out of the family kitchen.
The individually packaged cookies were a success. To grow beyond direct sales from his home, MarcQus connected with the Product Center at Michigan State University. They provided mentoring support on packaging, UPC codes, marketing, and more. Daddy’s Dough Cookies had outgrown the family kitchen by that time, and in June of 2018 moved into the incubator kitchen at the Downtown Market. From there, they moved production to Prep Space in Wyoming from 2019-2021. Using commercial kitchens allowed the business to sell through retail channels, MarcQus shared, “MSU’s support helped us establish the relationship with Bridge Street Market.”
The company has continued to grow and in 2021 moved to a larger, dedicated space. They also hired an assistant manager. Their current three-pronged focus is retail, direct to consumer online, and catering. Daddy’s Dough Cookies are sold at six local retailers including several area Meijer stores and six Spectrum Health campuses.
“We stay engaged with customers on our Facebook page. People feel like they know us, and they become ambassadors of the cookies. We send online orders all over the U.S. and even overseas because of that,” MarcQus said.
His dream is to have a dedicated space with some automation and improved packaging to provide, “A cookie that can taste as fresh at 30 days as it does right out of the oven.” Another motivation for having their own food manufacturing facility would be to give back to others starting their own food business. “I’ve gone through a lot of headaches that I could teach others to avoid,” MarcQus shared.
When asked if there were three things he would tell someone looking to become a food entrepreneur, he said, “Find a business coach or mentor to ask you questions you may not think about. Know your audience, learn your market, and tailor your efforts based on that. Study the industry, learn who else is making similar products, and learn the upcoming trends.” If you are a newly launched food business, connect with the MSU Product Center for support scaling your operation, like Daddy’s Dough Cookies did.
Is there a business you would like to learn more about? Nominate them to be featured as one of The Foods That Built West Michigan. Email Karrie to suggest other agribusinesses.