Editor’s note: The following is part of a multi-story feature profiling Kansas City small businesses reaping wins thanks to the Kansas City Chiefs’ 2023 Super Bowl bid. Click here to read more from this limited series.
Ali Madden’s frosted confections are taking flight this week — sending the cheeky cookie company to new heights, literally, alongside the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Heartland Cookie Co. scored a deal with Airshare — a private aviation company in Lenexa, Kansas — to make treats for the Chiefs to enjoy on their flight to the big game, the bakery shared.
“It’s definitely been really cool to be able to make cookies that Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid get to eat,” Madden said. “Especially when I’m putting Andy Reid’s face on the cookie.”
As a custom cookie maker, the The Heartland Cookie Co. owner already felt the immediate impact from an energized Chiefs fan base — made even more profitable with a winning playoffs run, she said.
“People are getting together to watch the games, corporations are celebrating — causing a lot of last-minute business for a company like mine,” Madden noted. “With all of the struggles this past year and a half with inflation, the extra income can be a game changer.”
Click here to follow Mission, Kansas-based The Heartland Cookie Co. on Instagram and to check out Madden’s seasonal sugary offerings.
But not only do the celebrations bring about more immediate orders and income, a Chiefs-infused NFL playoffs season brings long-term marketing benefits as well, Madden added.
“A lot of people will order [cookies] for the first time for the Super Bowl and then become repeat customers,” she said. “Or their friend or company will have ordered some cookies, and then they have me in mind for their next event.”
Madden founded The Heartland Cookie Co. in 2019. As a full-time wedding planner, Madden’s cookie business allowed her to continue working in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic halted large gatherings.
“I’ve started taking less weddings since my cookie business has gotten so busy,” she said, noting that between Valentine’s Day and the Super Bowl, she’s been completely booked.
Between Madden’s creatively brazen designs and her signature cookie recipe, The Heartland Cookie Co. has garnered over 7,000 followers on Instagram.
“I am known as the girl who makes inappropriate cookies, and I occasionally get a little bit of hate — but most of the time, people are super supportive,” Madden shared. “I’m not sure what started it all; I just don’t take myself too seriously.”
Having grown up in Kansas City for most of her life, Madden has seen how the Chiefs impact more than business, she said.
“It’s not always been this fun to be a Chiefs fan,” Madden said, laughing. “Their success has been amazing — not only for my business, but people are just more excited. There’s more pride in the city, and I feel like everyone’s almost a little nicer to each other.”