Maya Madsen had long been an avid baker before founding Maya’s Cookies. Her cookies had become a treasured treat among friends and families. When Maya began looking for ways to earn additional income to contribute to her son’s college fund, she decided to get into the cookie business.

Founded in 2015 as a farmer’s market pop up, Maya’s Cookies exploded in 2020 after actress Kerry Washington shared a tweet listing Maya’s Cookies as a Black-owned business to support. To meet the new demand, Maya moved her cookie production to a commercial kitchen in Mission Valley. Shortly after, Maya converted the kitchen lobby to a storefront after folks kept knocking on the window of the kitchen looking to buy her cookies.

During this time, Maya received guidance from her mentor who helped her navigate the intricacies of growing a business and building a strong team. Maya’s mentor also supported her as an advocate who understood the challenges and triumphs of being a woman in business.

Maya Cookies opened their second storefront in San Marcos in July 2022 and is now the #1 Black-Owned Gourmet Vegan Cookie Company. When she is not baking or managing her business, Maya is supporting youth professional development. She is a mentor with the apprenticeship program at Kitchens for Good and serves as a board member and volunteer with JA San Diego.