El Dardo: The man reinvents himself with the biscuit business
Posted 7:00 am Saturday, October 22, 2022
BROOKHAVEN (AP) — 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 founded two years ago to create generational wealth for his children. A showcase and creating a household name is your goal. Right now, he is selling baked goods on the weekends.
The maroon Cadillac is an asset to the business with its whitewall wheels and logo on the driver’s side door. He said he saved up for the car and liked the old-school look.
“If you see it, stop because it has the best cookies,” he said. “Wherever I go, I’m known as Tha Cookie Man. I get excited by kids passing by on the school bus or parents screaming for cookies.”
Campbell is a Brookhaven native and attended Brookhaven High School. He chose to follow the trade route working as a welder and in warehouses. Six years ago, his world came crashing down with a diagnosis of spinal meningitis, an infection of the fluids that surround 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. “He became overwhelming, so I asked God to put me in a position and help me. I wanted to move on for my children. It’s what he did, and that’s what he did. During that time, I kept pushing forward and putting God first. You think about everything you have instead of thinking about what went wrong.”
Her mother-in-law wanted to open a bakery, so she had all the tools and equipment she needed for the business. She taught him how to bake the cookies and he added her touch with the brand.
They are now in the second year of the business, which he hopes will start with humble beginnings in a car and expand into franchises. Tha Cookie Trap’s logo includes his son Josiah and his daughters Jordan and Haylee.
His wife is in charge of graphic design. It is a family business, where everyone works together to expand the business. Ultimately, he said his goal is to pass on a legacy.
In addition, he hopes that his story inspires people. They don’t have to be doctors or lawyers to be successful, she 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. He also forced him to reinvent himself.
“Life is precious and worth living. The most important thing is to have faith. God is real,” she said. “I had to reinvent myself after the illness. My business has also faced some tests. In my free time, I come up with different ideas and try to expand the business. I’m always thinking of new ideas. I have a goal set, and until it is achieved I have a lot of work to do. I have to go and reach it.