Small Business Spotlight: Cookie Chemist and Josie’s Pizza Bar

Small Business Spotlight

LONG ISLAND — For six years, radio personality Hip Hop Mike built a reputation for tapping into fresh-faced artists before they became household names, like DaBaby and Megan Thee Stallion.

With stints at HOT 97 and Station Head, he amassed an impressive following online and kept busy, but when COVID-19 struck, the opportunities dwindled.

It forced him to tap into a hidden sweet passion — baking.

“I mean who doesn’t love cookies?” he told PIX11. “I was just doing it for fun. And then people would hit me up on Instagram like ‘how can I get your cookies,’ and I’m like, I don’t even know if they are my cookies, because anybody can make cookies.”

But what makes this baker a standout is how he incorporates unique ingredients like exotic limited-edition snack; take for instance, the special edition Lady Gaga Oreos.

“I really think it’s just to level up on anything, you know, especially coming from radio, I want to be the best,” Hip Hop Mike said. “Why not be the best at making cookies? Because I have time — it’s a pandemic.”

The career pivot became a cash cow in a matter of months, and what made it sweeter was a partnership the radio host made with Long Island pizza maker and entrepreneur Josie Giglio.

Giglio had just opened her own micro-business — Josie’s Pizza Bar, a mobile pop-up wood fired oven that serves up a variety of personal pizzas with the ability to set up shop anywhere.

The pizza and cookie partnership proved to be a recipe for success.

“It’s been insane, people have been so receptive,” Giglio said, describing recent pop-up appearances the pair made in Brooklyn. “The response has been amazing, and we haven’t stopped since.”

While both their cookies and pizza are available exclusively through their Instagram pages, the Cookie Chemist and Josie’s Pizza Bar are planning to make pop-up appearances starting in the spring.

To learn more about these businesses, follow them on Instagram:

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