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Cookie Shop Owner Calls Out Influencer for Requesting Free Treats

Is an influencer being called out for requesting free cookies? Read more

Free treats in exchange for content?

A New York-based cookie shop, Halfsies Cookie Company, has recently found itself in the spotlight after owner David Maffei publicly took a stand against proposed partnerships with influencers seeking free products.


Maffei shared an Instagram Reel revealing an exchange between himself and Ana Montealgre, a bride-to-be who claimed to be an influencer. Montealgre attempted to set up a collaboration involving free cookies for her bridesmaid bags. However, Maffei, after reviewing her profile and seeing a modest following, responded bluntly: “Sorry, you’re not an influencer.”

“Beginner influencer”

Montealgre, identifying herself as a “beginner influencer,” received a snarky reply from Maffei: “I’m a beginner astronaut.”

This incident is part of Maffei’s broader effort to call out influencers and others who request free products from small businesses. He aims to raise awareness about the potential harm such requests can cause. Memes are circulating on social media regarding the matter.

Was he right?

In an economy where every promotional mailing must be intentional, Maffei emphasizes the importance of sending products only to charitable causes or legitimate influencers. His stance has sparked debate online, with commenters discussing whether the company or the influencer was in the right.

Reflecting on the viral moment in a follow-up post on Instagram, Maffei clarified his position: “Today has been wild. To be clear, I’m not anti-influencer. Influencer marketing is how we have grown,” he wrote. “I don’t like opportunistic people trying to capitalize on the flooded influencer market.”

He added, “If you’re embarrassed when I show our following what you said to us, maybe you shouldn’t say these things. 🤷🏻‍♂️”

Halfsies Co., a New York-based company, has gained widespread attention for its delicious offerings owned and operated by David Maffei.

“We are just an extremely small family business with one employee who is also a very close family friend,” Maffei said.


“When we started getting dozens of these (mostly bachelorette) party requests from people that have never ordered with us and don’t even follow us, I was annoyed. I decided to start sharing these interactions with our following so people could understand what we deal with behind the scenes, but also in hopes of shedding light on this trend for other small businesses who maybe would be fooled by it.”

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