The death of George Floyd sparked nationwide protests and a historic rebuke against institutionalized racism in America. It also precipitated a massive surge of purchasing power directed towards Black-owned vegan businesses

San Diego-based Maya’s Cookies was one such company to witness support. The vegan gourmet cookie company—sold online with nationwide delivery, at farmer’s markets and in select retailers in San Diego—was hit hard during the pandemic. Steady at about 20 orders per day, the pandemic climate forced Maya Madsen, owner and founder of Maya’s Cookies, to furlough about half of her seven employees. But on June 2nd, which marked the eighth day of protests since Floyd’s death, the company turned a drastic corner. 

The company started to see orders surge with 2,000 orders in one day—a 9,990% increase above previous levels—which continued for the days to follow. Subsequently, Madsen not only brought back all of her furloughed staff, but she also hired 20 additional part-time employees to help fulfill orders. Mayas’ also purchased several pieces of machinery to help speed up cookie production. This purchase enabled the equipment supplier, that was on the brink of going out of business, to stay afloat.  

Madsen attributes heavy demand to the momentum around the Black Lives Matter movement and a historic concerted and concentrated effort to buy from Black-owned businesses like hers. “I decided to use this spike to give back to my community in the form of jobs as well as supporting charities directly related to the movement,” Madsen told The Beet in an interview. “It is a trickle-down effect and I am happy to be part of it.” 

"In the past, within the black community, it was, 'Let's grow our own and so we support each other, and then this is how we bring the community together and move forward,'" Kathryn Orr, director of entrepreneurship at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition told ABC News in an interview. A "reawakening" is how Orr describes the current momentum to support Black business in America. "People are recognizing how economics are at the center of racial inequality," Orr said. 

As for Maya’s Cookies, they are continuing to scale and make their products even more accessible. “We are planning to keep shipping nationwide as well as explore other ways to get the product to our customers such as national distribution with our dough,” Madsen says. 

You can purchase the ridiculously delicious Maya’s Cookies’ treats online or at select locations around San Diego. 

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