BY RANDY RUDDER
Todd Davey is the owner of Old Hickory-based Vision Transportation Services, and, while he may know his way around a truck stop, he also knows his way around a kitchen, too. Davey says he’s had a weakness for a good cookie since he was a child, and recently spawned his love for cookies into a part-time business that he hopes to expand this year.
“My mom helped my twin brother and me bake cookies from the time we were about 9 or 10,” he says of his secret recipe that he has been tweaking for—well, quite a few years. “It was just a basic recipe. It was the only thing she would let us make in the kitchen. I changed the recipe as an adult over time as I learned how the quality of ingredients really affected the outcome. I have added a couple things too, so in some ways the entire recipe is new.”
Over the years, Davey says he often made his signature creations for holidays, family get-togethers and church functions, but never really considered doing it as a side business until about a year ago, when his friend and now business partner, Dr. Chris Holloway and his wife Renay, ordered some for a company function.
The cookies were such a big hit that Holloway encouraged him to start selling them commercially. Davey says he and his wife did some more ‘test-marketing’ when they sold their cookies at the Wilson County Fair this past summer with their friend Steve Spencer in his pizza trailer. Another good response. Move over Famous Amos, Mrs. Fields, and Christie Cookie. The Cookie Connoisseurs are now here.
Davey says the exact recipe for his cookies, which include chocolate chip, white chocolate macadamia nut, chocolate chip caramel pecan, chocolate chip/caramel peanut butter chip, and chocolate chip salted caramellatte, is as tightly guarded as the Coca-Cola recipe.
“Even (wife) Amy doesn’t know how I make them,” Davey says. “I finally wrote it down recently just in case something would ever happen to me.”
Davey says the challenge is finding time for the business, since his transport business and Dr. Holloway’s medical practice are both thriving. “I own a business and he is a doctor. We both have families, so the truth is we were already very busy. But the business is kind of pushing us to go forward with it so it is an exciting but challenging time,” Davey says. “We both love cookies so we don’t really consider the cookie business as work.”
So what makes the Cookie Connoisseurs products so delectable? “I believe it starts in large part by using the best quality, all-natural ingredients we can find and not being skimpy on the important stuff, like the chips, etc…” he says. “I would like to believe that the way we do things is what makes the difference. It seems like in this day and age when everything is about cutting costs, not much thought is actually given to the quality of product being offered to the consumer,” Davey says.
“It is almost like the consumer is being told they can take it or leave it. I guess I am old enough to remember real customer service and companies working hard to get and keep customers. Our motto is ‘the cure for the common cookie.’ We hope to never be seen as just another cookie company no matter how small we are or how large we become.”
Davey adds, “Most of our sales are currently for private parties, gatherings, church events, office parties, and so on, but our desire is to be in small local businesses, restaurants, and retail stores where we can supply both fresh-baked, as well as uncooked, packaged for resale products, and where we can establish strong and lasting relationships in the Mt. Juliet and the surrounding areas. Our hope is to grow to a size where we can employ a number of local people and to eventually be shipping product all over the country.”
Davey says his other three partners share his passion for cookies. “Our business meetings can be quite engaging, if you know what I mean. We are all equal shareholders and we all have an opinion about everything, but the wives usually see the practical side of things. My friend Chris and I are the dreamers, so you can imagine how things generally go. Amy is the accountant, and I am the only baker currently, but we all are ultimately the sales force for the company.
Davey notes that they just launched their website www.thecookiecure.com and “we are excited about the future and believe that we can one day be a large employer in Wilson County. But we need your help. So go get a dozen or so, and tell your friends about it,” he says you will enjoy every last bite!.