The Dart: Man reinvents himself with cookie business – Daily Leader

The Dart: Reinventing yourself with cake shops

Published at 07.00 Saturday 22 October 2022

BROOKHAVEN — Joe Campbell sat in his maroon Cadillac in front of Fast Paced Health on Brookway Boulevard, near where The Dart landed Thursday afternoon. He is known as “Tha Cookie Man” written on the back of his Tha Cookie Trap shirt.

Tha Cookie Trap is a company he started two years ago to create generational wealth for his children. A storefront and creating a household name are his goals. Right now, he’s fooling around with the pastries on the weekends.

The maroon Cadillac is an asset to the business with its white walls and logo on the driver’s side door. He said he was saving up for the car and liked the old style.

“If you see it end because he has the best cookies,” he said. “Everywhere I go, I’m known as Tha Cookie Man. I get excited when the kids go by on the school bus or when their parents yell about the cookies.”

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Campbell was born in Brookhaven and attended Brookhaven High School. He chose to go the trade route as a welder and stockist. Six years ago, his world came crashing down with a diagnosis of spinal meningitis, an infection of the fluids around the brain and spinal cord.

“It almost killed me. I was in the hospital for two months and on life support for two weeks. I went through surgeries and rest at home for three years. I was denied disability,” Campbell said. “It got overwhelming, so I asked God to put me in a position and help me. I wanted to move forward for my children. That’s what he did, and that’s what he did. During that time, I just kept pushing forward and putting God first. You think about everything you have instead of what went wrong.”

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His mother-in-law wanted to start a bakery, so she had all the tools and equipment he needed for the business. She taught him how to bake the cookies, and he added his twist with the brand.

They are now in year two of the business, which he hopes will start with humble beginnings in a car and expand into franchising. Tha Cookie Trap’s logo includes his son Josiah and daughters Jordan and Haylee.

His wife handles the graphic design. It is a family business, where everyone works together to expand the business. Ultimately, he said his goal is to carry on a legacy.

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In addition, he hopes that his story inspires people. They don’t have to be doctors or lawyers to succeed, he said. People can take advantage of the good and use what they have to build a future.

His near-death experience had an impact on his outlook on life. It also forced him to reinvent himself.

“Life is precious and worth living. The biggest thing is to have faith. God is real,” he said. “I had to reinvent myself after the illness. My company has also been exposed to some trials. In my spare time I come up with different ideas and try to expand the business. I am always thinking of new ideas. I have a set goal, and until it is reached I have a lot to do. I must go and reach it.”

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