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A Cookie-Making Side Hustle Reaches Multinational Supermarket Shelves

Caroline made the cookies for her roommate and after receiving appreciation she started selling the cookies.
Cover Image Source: Instagram | @gringuita_cookies
Cover Image Source: Instagram | @gringuita_cookies

Most folks start a side hustle to make some extra money. But sometimes the side hustles grow bigger than the individual had ever expected. Caroline McGinley, the founder of La Gringuita cookies had started making cookies as a side hustle, but her cookies become so popular that the giant supermarket chain Whole Foods has decided to feature them in the Frozen cookies section across its stores in the United States.

Caroline started making cookies when she was a little girl. When she was in Uruguay, she made the cookies for her roommate. And when her roommate appreciated her cookies, she started selling the cookies. Recalling her friends’ reaction, “My friends were, like, ‘Wow! You could totally sell these!”. She used social media platforms to market and get her initial orders. Since the cookies had a US taste, they became a huge hit among her South American customers. The name La Gringuita is based on a nickname given to her by a host family during her trip to Peru. The cookies come in four varieties and are sold at $3.5 each. Each cookie measures about 4 inches in diameter and weighs 4.5 ounces. She even sells raw frozen dough balls for a price of $ 14 which can be baked into cookies at home. The four varieties are:

- Brown Buttah Choco Sea Salt cookie

- Jammy cookie

- El Churro cookie

- Chocolate Soufflé cookie

To attract more customers, Caroline started participating in seasonal markets and food truck gatherings in the local neighborhood in Uruguay. What makes her cookies taste so good is the tender love she showers while making them. Caroline said, “I hand-mix everything. I don’t want to lose that.” “I feel like this is what I love to do. I think love travels down the spoon. It may sound cheesy, but I love that,” she added.

During COVID, she moved back to Florida but continued selling cookies online. Her cookies have become a hit in Florida as well. She sells the cookies at West Palm Beach Green Market. Recently she introduced four new flavors to the cookies. French Toast, Tiramisu, Cookie butter, and Chocotorta are the latest additions and each is available for $5. The frozen dough balls for the same are available for $15.

La Gringuita was one of the 10 brands chosen by Whole Foods to participate in its Local & Emerging Accelerator Program (LEAP). The program provides a platform for emerging food brands to showcase their products and grow their customer base. Starting in May this year, the La Gringuita cookies will be available in the frozen cookies section of the Whole Foods stores at Plam Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, Coller, and Lee counties.