Darts: Men reinvent themselves with cookie business
Posted Saturday, October 22, 2022 at 7:00 AM
BROOKHAVEN — Joe Campbell is sitting in his maroon Cadillac in front of Fast Paced Health on Brookway Boulevard, near where the darts landed Thursday afternoon. He is called “Tha Cookie Man” and 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 storefront and creating a household name were his goals. Now, he’s busy baking baked goods on the weekends.
The maroon Cadillac is a corporate asset, with its white-walled tires and emblem on the driver’s side door. He said he saved money for the car and liked the old-fashioned look.
“If you see it stop because he has the best cookies,” he said. “Everywhere I go, I’m called Tha Cookie Man. I get excited when kids ride by on the school bus, or their parents yell for cookies.”
Campbell is a native of Brookhaven and attended Brookhaven High School. He chose the trade route as a welder and warehouse work. Six years ago, his world fell apart with a diagnosis of meningitis, an infection of the fluid 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 went through three years of surgery and a family break. I was denied disability,” Campbell said. “It became overwhelming, so I asked God to put me in a position and help me. I wanted to move forward for my kids. That’s what he did, that’s what he did. During that time, I just Keep moving forward and put God first. You think about what you have, not what went wrong.”
His mother-in-law wanted to open a bakery, so she had all the tools and equipment he needed to run his business. She taught him how to bake cookies, and he added his twist on the brand.
They are now in their second year of business, and he hopes to start from humble beginnings with cars and then expand into franchises. Tha Cookie Trap’s logo includes his son Josiah and daughters Jordan and Haylee.
His wife is in charge of graphic design. This is a family business where everyone works together to expand the business. Ultimately, he says his goal is to pass on the legacy.
Furthermore, he hopes his story will inspire people. They don’t have to be doctors or lawyers to be successful, he said. People can use what they have to create the future.
His near-death experience shaped his outlook on life. It also forced him to reinvent himself.
“Life is precious and worth living. The most important thing is to have faith. God is real,” he said. “I had to reinvent myself after being sick. My business also faced some trials. In my free time, I came up with different ideas and tried to expand the business. I was always thinking of new ideas. I have a lot of work to do before it gets there. I have to get there.”