“This is not a drill,” wrote Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson on Instagram. “This is 16oz of hand made, hand rolled, slap someone in the face cause it tastes so good, decadent and dangerous chocolate chip cookie … as a gift from one of my fav cookie spots in the world.” The actor’s endorsement would prove to be a vivid example of the power of social media and small business marketing.
Almost immediately, Mitzi Toro (aka Maui Cookie Lady) got inundated with orders for cookies – her website crashed temporarily – and the business shot through the roof. She had sent a basket of her treats to Johnson while he was filming “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” in Hawaii in 2016. The small gesture paid off in big ways.
Weighing over six ounces each, her overstuffed cookies include hidden Oreos, Snickers bars, pineapple chunks, and peppermint patties. Other cookies incorporate Kona Coffee, Maui Brewing Company beer, Waihe’e Valley macadamia nuts and include exotic flavors such as Pineapple Lychee Passion.
Rapper Ludacris went so far as to fly nearly a 100 miles in a helicopter to personally get a cookie from Toro while he was in Hawaii. “I literally rented a helicopter to fly all the way from Honolulu, Oahu, to Maui to meet this woman right here; it’s on my bucket list and it’s all Dwayne Johnson’s fault,” he said in an Instagram video.
“Food unites people,” said Toro in Hawaii magazine. “I learned early on that it doesn’t matter what religion or culture you come from or what language you speak, food is beloved by all.”