You might ask, how did a pizza business turn into a high-spirited Appalachian cookie shop? Moonshine Mountain Cookies got started last year when Rick Dunlap and his friends, Mike and Robin Maddux, rented a commercial kitchen in their hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee. Rick and Mike were University of Tennessee roommates and entrepreneurs independently.
The Maddux’s happened to have a great chocolate chip recipe from a pizza restaurant they’d opened in 1988. When it closed, customers begged them not to stop making cookies. After seeing the growing excitement over flavored moonshine, Mike and Robin decided to develop new cookie recipes that would include actual flavored moonshine. Rick says, “Moonshine is a part of our Tennessee heritage – even Mountain Dew was created in Tennessee – and our cookies do have moonshine in them, but not enough to upset the preacher!” It makes their cookies super moist and flavorful.
From the Nutty Butty Holly to the Cherry Seinfeld
When Moonshine Mountain Cookies was formed, part of the popularity with their cookies is their many fun flavors. Carmel by the Sea is their best-seller – a decadent caramel, chocolate, toffee cookie with butterscotch moonshine. It’s topped with a caramel/butterscotch moonshine glaze and sprinkled with coarse sea salt.
Some of their other popular cookies include the John Lemon-Lemon Blueberry, Happy Pappy-Apple Pie Moonshine, Nutty Butty Holly-Reese’s Peanut Butter, Rocky Top Creamy Chocolate and Cherry Seinfeld-Cherry.
The Gourmet Essentials – Branding & Packaging
To brand their cookie business, the owners chose the name MOONSHINE MOUNTAIN and a logo that shows a chocolate chip cookie rising like the moon behind a mountain.Each cookie is hand scooped and shaped like a mountain – crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.
“While looking for exciting packaging options, we found Nashville Wraps,” explains Rick. “Since our new cookie looked and tasted different from anything on the market, we wanted distinctive packaging. We felt cookie tins were cold and somewhat dated. When we saw all of the packaging options from Nashville Wraps, we knew we had found it! Harry in the Custom Print Department has been a champion for us to work with. He is always willing to take the extra step to insure our needs are met.
Building a Better Cookie Paid Off
“We have enjoyed an exceptional first year. It seems the world was ready for a BETTER cookie! We are looking to expand to Nashville and Pigeon Forge as soon as we can find the right location.”
Recently the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame treated its 2016 Inductees and guests to Moonshine Mountain Cookies. Their Knoxville team is busy finalizing Christmas orders, and there is no slowing down for this busy crew. Valentine’s Day will keep them rolling right through New Year’s.
If you would like to see what all the fuss is about, try a moonshine cookie for yourself by ordering online (free local delivery in Knoxville). Watch this video featuring Moonshine Mountain Cookies produced by their local CBS news affiliate (after the short commercial).