Everyone loves cookies, especially when they're made from a top-secret, cherished family recipe. That's what motivates the family business at Not As Famous Cookie Company, a mobile bakery based in Marietta, Georgia. Named "one of the city's coolest food trucks" by Atlanta Magazine, Not As Famous Cookie uses only the finest ingredients like real butter, fine chocolate, and premium nuts in surprising flavor combinations like Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake and Red Velvet White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies.

Even when selling something as popular as cookies, it's important to find ways to stand out from all the competition – especially when running a business out of a truck. Owner Ashley Carlton is responsible for marketing, managing the logistics of preparing both regular and catering orders in a small space, and also creating new and innovative gourmet cookie recipes. Carlton shares her experience building Not As Famous Cookie Company into the successful Atlanta catering business it is today.

cookies to-go

How did you get started in the cookie business?

My father thought of the cookie company idea years ago – actually soon after I was born. He created the same recipe that we use when he lived out in Los Angeles and had dreams of everyone getting the chance to taste this amazing cookie from his own bakery. Growing up around a baker inspired me to want to do the same. I saw my father's vision and wanted to make that dream became a reality. Plus, it helps that the cookie recipe he came up with is the best I've ever had. 

About three years ago we became a mobile food truck based in Marietta, but we cover the entire metro area with our cookie truck, catering team, and mobile delivery.

What makes Not As Famous Cookie Company unique in the Atlanta Catering scene?

Not As Famous Cookie Company is unique because it's a family-owned company with recipes that very few family members know. We freshly bake our cookies from scratch every day with no preservatives and only the finest ingredients. You can tell a huge difference between real ingredients and imitation.

How does the catering factor into your business?

Catering makes up almost 50 percent of our business. While we have enjoyed getting our name out through public events, our business is moving more into catering. We enjoy working with private clients, weddings, corporate catering, and more. Catering allows us to customize our menu items for clients and even try new options that the client is seeking. Plus with catering, you have less waste.

How do you handle both regular and catering orders, all from a food truck?

We're able to handle both regular orders and catering by having a team of individuals that allow us to be in more places than one. We keep enough supplies on hand on the truck to cover last minute orders that we might not be expecting. When we get a catering order, we have a delivery team that delivers  items to our clients and even sets up a cookie bar and serves if needed. With regular orders, we still take the same approach, and we also allow for pickup for those clients.

cookie cake slices

What's your favorite Not As Famous Cookie Company menu item?

Currently, it's our deep dish cookie. You can choose any flavor cookie plus ice cream with toppings and drizzles. My favorite combination is the peanut butter chocolate chip with a pretzel deep dish cookie topped with cookie dough ice cream, chocolate drizzle, and macadamia nuts.

What advice do you have for business owners looking to expand their Atlanta catering business?

My advice for business owners is to serve good quality food, offer excellent service, have a great presentation of your product, create a social media presence, engage with your customers, and take some time to cold-call local businesses, wedding venues, and events coordinators in your local area.

What's next for Not As Famous Cookie Company?

We're looking to expand to a second cookie truck in Atlanta as well as looking at other markets for long-term expansion. We also plan to grow our catering to hopefully 60 to 70 percent of our business next year.