He’s “Tha Cookie Man” – the Mississippi man reinventing himself with the cookie business
Published Sunday October 23, 2022 6:57 am
Joe Campbell sat in his maroon Cadillac in front of Fast Paced Health on Brookway Boulevard, near where The Dart landed Thursday afternoon. He is known as “Tha Cookie Man” which is written on the back of his Tha Cookie Trap shirt.
Tha Cookie Trap is a company he started two years ago to create generational wealth for his children. A shop window and the creation of a well-known name is his goal. Right now, he’s pushing the baked goods on the weekends.
The maroon Cadillac is an asset to the store with its whitewall tires and logo on the driver’s door. He said he saved for the car and liked the old school look.
“When you see it stop because he has the best cookies,” he said. “Everywhere I go, I’m known as Tha Cookie Man. I get a thrill when the kids ride by on the school bus or when their parents yell over the cookies.”
Campbell is from Brookhaven and attended Brookhaven High School. He chose the trade route as a welder and in camps. His world collapsed six years ago when he was diagnosed with spinal cord inflammation, an infection of fluids around the brain and spinal cord.
“It nearly killed me. I was in the hospital for two months and on life support for two weeks. I had to go through surgeries and home rest for three years. I was denied a disability,” Campbell said. “It got overwhelming, so I asked God to put me in a position and help me. I wanted to get ahead for my kids. He did, and he did. During that time, I just kept pushing forward and putting God first. You think about everything you have instead of what went wrong.”
His mother-in-law wanted to start a bakery, so she had all the tools and equipment he needed for the business. She taught him how to bake the cookies and he added his twist with the branding.
They’re now entering the second year of the business, which he hopes will start with humble beginnings in a car and expand into franchises. The Tha Cookie Trap logo features his son Josiah and daughters Jordan and Haylee.
His wife takes care of the graphic design. It’s a family business where everyone works together to grow the business. Ultimately, his goal is to pass on a legacy.
He also hopes his story will inspire people. You don’t have to be a doctor or a lawyer to be successful, he said. People can tap into the good and build a future with what they have.
His near-death experience influenced his outlook on life. It also forced him to reinvent himself.
“Life is precious and worth living. The biggest thing is to have faith. God is real,” he said. “I had to reinvent myself after the illness. My company has also gone through some trials. In my spare time I have different ideas and try to expand the business. I’m always thinking of new ideas. I have set myself a goal and I have a lot to do until I reach it. I have to go and achieve it.”