When Tekisha Collins, a wife and mother of two, was laid off from her corporate job in 2009, she never imagined that a 100-year-old family recipe, known today as Smoogy, would land her a winning spot on Lifetime’s new hit show, Supermarket Superstar.
“A friend of mine saw the casting call on Twitter,” she says. “She sent me a link and said, ‘Kisha, this is for you; you better go for it.’ After reading it, I thought to myself, ‘Maybe this is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for.’ ”
Taking her friend’s advice, the self-proclaimed reality TV junkie decided to step out on faith, driving from Indianapolis to Chicago to audition for the then-upcoming reality competition cooking series.
Upon arriving, there were close to 3,000 aspiring food entrepreneurs waiting in line for a shot at winning $10,000 in cash, $100,000 worth of product development, and the chance to have their products launched and marketed through A&P Supermarkets.
A few months later, Collins received a phone call informing her that she had been chosen to compete for the opportunity of a lifetime.
Early on, the judges (Chris Cornyn, branding expert; Michael Chiarello, celebrity chef; and Debbi Fields of Mrs. Fields cookies) fell in love with Collins and Smoogy, a frozen cookie sandwich with a creamy cheesecake filling.
“[Aside from the flavor,] I would say the [amount of] love that goes into the Smoogies makes them special,” she says. “When I’m home and my family and friends know I’m making batches of Smoogy, everybody wants to lick the mixing spoons. And we’re talking about grown folks, girl–grown!”
After months of competing with other culinary hopefuls, Collins was crowned the winner of Supermarket Superstar on the season finale.
As of now, Smoogy is being sold at A&P Supermarkets and is available in two flavors: lemon delight, a sugar cookie sandwich with lemon cheesecake filling and chocolate fudge, a chocolate chip cookie sandwich with chocolate cheesecake filling.
The “modern-day Mrs. Fields” has been busy embarking on a national media tour to help promote Smoogy over the last few months, and says the reception she’s received so far has been overwhelming.
“People from all over the world, including places like Denmark and Germany have sent me messages [inquiring about] how they can order Smoogy, and saying that I need to get them in more stores, more states and other venues,” she says.
That, Collins says, is just one of the many things she envisions for Smoogy in the upcoming years, and insists that Supermarket Superstar is only the beginning of her business journey.
Determined to take her brand to the next level, Collins says it’s only a matter of time before Smoogy becomes a household name and available to the masses.
“I’m not sure what’s next, but I know it’s something amazing. I’m reaching for the moon and if I miss, [I’m hoping to at least] land among the stars,” she says. “Smoogy is here and ready to take over the freezer like Scandal has taken over Thursday nights!”
To order a box (or two) of Smoogy frozen cheesecake cookie sandwiches, visit www.smoogycookies.com.
Princess Gabbara is a senior at Eastern Michigan University, where she will soon earn her bachelor’s degree in journalism. You can read more of her work on her blog: princessgabbara.wordpress.com. Follow her on Twitter: @PrincessGabbara