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Meet Ah’Leisha Cole of Ah’Leisha’s Cookie Co.

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ah’Leisha Cole.

Hi Ah’Leisha, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
One night my husband and I had finished enjoying dinner and I was having a bit of a sweet tooth. I told him “Man, I could go for something sweet. Like I want chocolate chip cookies but the homemade kind.” It was late but I said after grocery shopping the following day, I’ll make some then. I wasn’t sure how they would turn out since I haven’t really made any sweets from scratch before. So I looked up a recipe, baked them and they turned out to be a huge hit! My husband then asked if I could make peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, and sugar cookies. Soon after, we were sharing them with coworkers and with family. And though people expressed that I should turn a “hidden gift” into a business, I was still skeptical about it. All of this was three years ago.

January 2020, I finally decided to create Ah’Leisha’s Cookie Co. as an actual business. I told myself no matter what happened from this point on, I can at least say that I tried and have no regrets. Business was picking up and it felt great making profit from a passion especially after being a stay-at-home wife for two years.

When we hit 2021, my business took off to new heights! So far, I’ve been featured in a magazine, participate as a vendor in a wedding expo (and got booked for weddings), was named a Small Business Superstar by the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and the opportunity to work with other nearby businesses such as KC Starlight Theatre, and a few warehouses to provide treats for their employees. While researching ways to grow my business, I came across an opportunity provided by Bank of America for Women Entrepreneurs. A 6-month program where we learn how to create our businesses to be sustainable and efficient, leadership skills, how to negotiate deals and more. After completion of the program, I received my Certificate in Women’s Entrepreneurship. Using the skills I learned, my business quickly bounced back.

I’m extremely grateful and blessed to see how far I’ve come. My husband and baby girl are my motivators. I want to use this as a way to retired my husband from his automotive manufacturing job that breaks down his body and takes away from family time. For our daughter, I want to create generational wealth and provide something of great value to pass down to her if she chooses to go this route when she older.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Any road to a successful business is never easy. When Covid-19 hit, business was severely declining due to everything being shutdown and people being unable to have any in-person interactions. So I figured I’d use social media and emails to get my message and products across. My younger audience responded well while my older crowd responded poorly. I thought about using newspaper outlets and magazines to reach them but because they were charging ridiculous amounts of money for a small piece of a page and because money was a little tight, especially since my husband was laid off, I had to find ways to get creative to reach them. So I had to go old school and use flyers. They responded well and business began to pick back up. It wasn’t 100% but it was better than where it was.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Ah’Leisha’s Cookie Co. is a dessert paradise for those who seek delicious, scratch-made, handcrafted goodness! What started out as a baking business of five cookies has over time expanded to 34 cookie flavors, cheesecakes, pies, chocolate dipped treats, macarons, and more. I’ve also expanded services to include a Dessert Bar service where anyone can create a full display of desserts for their guests to enjoy.

I’m known for my big stuffed cookies with my S’mores and my Cream Cheese Stuffed Red Velvet being my top sellers. What sets me apart from other bakeries is my extended selection of cookies that’s available year round and of how big they are. My customers feel as though they get their money’s worth every time they order from me and because I use quality ingredients and take care to make sure every batch is to par, people can taste that in every bite.

Seeing the progress I’ve made and seeing my small business handle like a big business is big deal. Being able to work with other businesses shows me how much of an impact the presence of my business has. Word of mouth spreads fast and so will Ah’Leisha’s Cookie Co.

Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
I’ve had my fair share of both but the good always outweighs the bad. My good luck a.k.a God has been bigger than any bad luck I’ve received. I have been burned by a local business who said that they would create an ad video of my cookies for free and after that, I didn’t hear anything else from them. A few weeks after that, I then got an email from a local business who wanted to work with me. They paid for the cookies and because of how good they were, they spread the news of my business by word of mouth which is way more than what the other business did.

I strongly believe that how your treat others will be reflected back to you. So I always make sure that I treat every customers with the most positive attitude so that “good luck” comes back to me.

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