| by Allie Herring |
Texas-based business partners, Melissa Blue and Melissa Mehall, just took their cookie company to a new level, landing a distribution deal with the world’s largest retailer, Walmart. By the end of September, Meli’s Monster Cookies will be sold in 200 Texas-area Walmart store locations.
The idea for Meli’s Monster Cookies began when Fort Worth-resident Melissa Blue realized her popular family cookie recipe was the perfect option for her gluten-free niece. “This is one of those family recipes that has been passed down and cherished through the years,” says Blue. “I started making them after I got married because my husband loved them so much. After starting a family, this cookie became the most requested snack at play dates and lunches. Friends would beg me to bring them to every event.”
Melissa Blue and Melissa Mehall have been friends for more than 25 years. After both Waco-raised women attended the University of Texas, Blue stayed in Austin while Mehall went to law school at Southern Methodist University before settling down in Fort Worth. So, when Blue needed a business partner four years ago, Mehall was her first call. After that phone call, both women quickly went from stay-at-home moms of three to entrepreneurs. “We love working together, and more importantly, we work well together,” says Blue of the duo’s dynamic.
Peanut butter and rolled oats are the first two ingredients in Meli’s Monster Cookies - making them a naturally gluten-free recipe high in both fiber and protein. The original cookie flavor is made by combining rolled oats, peanut butter, chocolate chips, M&Ms, and peanut M&Ms. The newest recipe, the “Cashewlicious” cookie, made up of rolled oats, cashew butter, dark chocolate, macaroon-style coconut, and dried cherries, aims to break the gluten-free stereotype.
The duo believes they found success because they’re “offering something that isn’t out there”: delicious gluten-free frozen cookies. Both women have business backgrounds and recognize the challenges that come with starting a business. “You learn as you go, and it is all about experiencing and figuring it out,” says Mehall. Their advice is to have persistence. “You hit a lot of roadblocks,” says Blue. “You have to keep looking for solutions.”
The women plan to add more items to the mix with Meli’s dry gluten-free cookie and mix and Meli’s individually wrapped cookies later this year. Meli’s Monster Cookies can be found in the frozen food section of Central Market, H-E-B, Market Street, and now Walmart. The cookies will be sold in 200 Texas area Walmart stores, making their total number of retailers 350 by September of 2016. The cookies are also available locally at Roy Pope Grocery and The Sunflower Shoppe. melismonstercookies.com