Cory Nieves, 10-year-old CEO of Mr. Cory’s Cookies, may be young, but he’s got some pragmatic advice to share on starting a business. “The number one and best rule to follow is to always have fun. If it’s not fun, then why even do it?” asks Mr. Cory. When he was 5-years-old, he not only discovered his love of baking cookies, but unearthed a keen entrepreneurial spirit. “I wanted to start a business to get my mom a car, so I decided to sell hot cocoa,” he explains.
Although when he came to his mom with the idea, she wasn’t initially convinced Mr. Cory’s plan was feasible. “I didn’t want to do it,” says Lisa Howard, who grew to cherish the time the new venture allowed her to spend with her son. “I was thinking about the money we would have to raise. As a mother, I have to be his biggest supporter and help him, of course.”
It wasn’t long until Mr. Cory added his famous tasty cookies to the menu, to rave reviews. “My cookies are loving, they melt in your mouth, and they are all natural. If you have one, you’ll want more, but you won’t feel guilty about it. They really brighten up your day,” says the young Nieves. Mr. Cory’s Cookies’ clients—who include corporate offices, car dealerships, hospitals and hair salons—are thrilled when they see the always well dressed (“I love fashion”) Mr. Cory pulling his red trolley of cookies on his many deliveries.
Today, there are a slew of homemade natural cookies on his menu, such as peanut butter, sugar, macadamia with chocolate chips and sugar-free oatmeal raisin cookies. But it’s safe to say Mr. Cory’s Cookies rose to prominence thanks to its signature tasty chocolate chip cookies, which are constantly selling out.
“It took a couple of months to make [chocolate chip cookies] just perfect,” he says, pointing out that he can’t resist the chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies. “We got to experiment with different ingredients. My mom and I researched a bunch of recipes and we created one that we, and everyone else, really loved.”
While the buzz has been growing about Mr. Cory’s Cookies and its too-adorable-for-words CEO, his mom stresses that his company isn’t just a flash in the pan: “We are working towards being a household brand. Mr. Cory’s will be a brand that decades from now people will speak about. That doesn’t happen overnight.”
The journey to securing a spot on grocery shelves across the country takes a lot of hard work, and the aspiring chef and investor is ready to put in the time and commitment. “You have to believe you can do can do it!” Mr. Cory isn’t worried about his cookie rivals. “I don’t believe in competition. I believe all of us in the cookie business have enough people out there to try all our products. There’s no room for negativity; you have to stay positive.”Alexandra Phanor-Faury
COOL LIST: Cory Nieves
Movies: The Gremlins and Home Alone
Music: Daft Punk, Michael Jackson, gospel music
Deserts: banana pudding, moon cake (Chinese), hot chocolate fondue
Food: Baked macaroni and cheese, Spanish food, and sushi
Cookie: Mr. Cory’s Cookies chocolate chip and Double Dark
Books: Donald Trump, Surviving at the Top (his mom scans the pages he can read), Rich Dad Poor Dad, history books
Chefs: Gordon Ramsey, Martha Stewart, Julia Child, Cake Boss
Bands: Daft punk
Fashion Designers: Tom Ford, Jenna Lyons (of J.Crew), Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Basin