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From hobby to career, a West Michigan man takes his entrepreneurial talents to market with Daddy’s Dough—a successful cookie bakery providing wacky and wonderful flavors thanks to support from the MEDC (and Beyonce).
With the support of his family and community resources, Daddy’s Dough Founder MarcQus Wright’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to launch a successful West Michigan cookie business. Not your regular cookie shop, Daddy’s Dough products are infused with tasty, sweet flavors, like peanut butter, butterscotch, toffee, pecans and candy pieces.
MarcQus started Daddy’s Dough with almost no business training or start-up experience. His baking journey kicked off in a local bakery during his teenage years, where he would spend summers in the kitchen. After just one summer, MarcQus found a new passion and skill set, and he would continue working in that bakery throughout high school. In the years that followed, MarcQus continued his hobby, baking occasionally for his family and friends while working a 9-to-5 job. After 14 years, MarcQus decided it was time for a career change and launched Daddy’s Dough Cookies in 2015.
“It was my daughter who said, ‘Dad, these cookies are so good,’” said MarcQus. “And that’s how I got the idea to start Daddy’s Dough.”
At first, business flourished at Daddy’s Dough, but like countless small businesses in Michigan, the global pandemic caused massive challenges in growth and development. MarcQus knew the pandemic would disrupt his monthly income and operations.
Receiving information and guidance from professionals on the MEDC’s Pure Michigan Business Connect (PMBC) team, MarcQus applied for—and received—10,000 from the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce and 10,000 from Kent County.
“Those grants were instrumental to our day-to-day operations,” said MarcQus. “During the pandemic, you’re doing work and getting paid, but you don’t know what the next month his going to bring in. I needed to figure out how to pivot my business where I did not have to completely worry, and it was this realization that pushed me to seek out business professionals.”
Through communications with PMBC, MarcQus also learned about Beyonce’s Beygood Foundation, a nonprofit promoting black-owned businesses. Through Beyonce’s organization, MarcQus was granted 10,000 and received national promotion.
When times were tough, MarcQus knew the PMBC team would provide the resources and tools he needed to thrive during the pandemic. Without the critical funding received through several Michigan grants, Daddy’s Dough would have been left to face a multitude of challenges without extra financial support.
“Through the Pure Michigan Business Connect, we were also able to grow into larger markets like Lansing, which we weren’t necessarily planning to expand into anytime soon,” said MarcQus. “We’re so thankful for the opportunities that helped increase our name recognition and sales.”
Today, you can find Daddy’s Dough products online or at Grand Rapids’ Bridge Street Market, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, Horrocks Market, the Grand Rapids Public Museum, Lansing’s Capital City Market and select Meijer locations. The Daddy’s Dough team is looking forward to the growth of their start-up and sharing their bite of sweetness with Michigan.
To learn more about the MEDC and resources available to small- to medium sized businesses in Michigan, visit www.michiganbusiness.org/pmbc.