Friday, July 19, 2024

Solar Panels to Cookie Pans: How Founder Bennett Maxwell Makes His Companies Runaway Success Stories

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Ian Feldman
Ian Feldman
Ian Feldman is the lead editor for Business News Ledger. Ian has been working as a freelance journalist for nearly a decade having published stories in the New York Times, The Plain Dealer, The Daily Mail and many others. Ian is based in Detroit and covers issues related to entrepreneurs and businesses.

Founder Bennett Maxwell is becoming a serial entrepreneur in multiple fields. The young CEO founded a solar marketing company in 2020, did several million in sales in the first year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and sold it for a whopping profit after 18 months.

Sure, anyone can get lucky once. But with his latest venture, Dirty Dough Cookies, we’re starting to see a trend. To be sure, the upmarket cookie franchise is a sweet sell, and Maxwell’s franchising prowess has led to him selling 98 stores across 13 states in just eight months. What’s more? He’s already speaking with dozens of would-be entrepreneurs across the country with the goal of opening 1,000 shops over the next few years.

It’s not everyone that can make a franchising business a success. It takes a certain talent for alchemy to bring together the right product, at the right price, at the right time, and with the right profit margin. And Maxwell brings even more to the table with this cookie business, adding a community service and charity aspect to the franchise model.

He must be getting the formula right since he was already invited to join the Forbes Business Council Council for his charitable contributions to the communities he serves.

Franchising Finesse

Maxwell got his start in sales, taking positions in solar power, smart home systems, and pest control companies. He quickly climbed the ranks until he was managing teams selling over a million dollars in products per quarter.

When he felt ready to branch out, he founded Switch to Solar with his brother, making millions of dollars in sales installing sustainable energy systems in private homes and businesses.

Next, he decided to truly run a company on his own and is now the founder of Dirty Dough. With the count at 98 stores in eight months — with two storefronts already open — Maxwell is sure to have many other entrepreneurs seeking passive income finding their way to his inbox.

Keys to Cookie Success

The draws for his cookie franchisees are many. Firstly, the Dirty Dough line of over-the-top gourmet cookies is an easy sell in most suburban towns and malls. Oversized, gooey, and stuffed with exciting fillings or delightful toppings, the cookies practically sell themselves as every child that walks by will undoubtedly ask for one.

The company also invites fan and follower engagement by letting cookie lovers vote for favorite fillings or new flavors every month. Then they get the satisfaction of trying the new winning cookies the next time they pop into the store. The most popular among these ‘fan favorites’ might even be added to the permanent menu if enough people fall in love with them.

Giving Back to Communities

The second draw for franchisees is that there is a charitable aspect of giving back to the community already built into the business model, an ever-more-popular feature both owners and customers look for when supporting a new company.

Maxwell is dedicated to wellness for children and teens, with suicide prevention particularly close to his heart. As the father of two pre-teen girls, he has noticed the connection between social media — and influencers peddling perfect lives — and low self-esteem in teens, who think they can never compare to these ‘perfect’ lives and appearances.

“There is an unfortunate correlation between social media and self-harm, which has only increased since the rise of social platforms,” Maxwell noted, “People tend to compare themselves often and target their imperfections or flaws because of what is portrayed on social media. Dirty Dough has the potential to help in reducing suicides.”

To show his commitment, Maxwell channels a portion of his profits into community-led wellness rooms and other programs that inform youth about social media’s dangers and help them improve their self-esteem.

Semi-Passive Income

The third appealing aspect for franchisees is the profit margin and a model that makes the income from the cookie stores “semi-passive,” as Maxwell has said. It’s great for entrepreneurs with full-time jobs or businesses looking for a way to build wealth or have a business to pass down to their kids.

In the meantime, the business model offers high profit potential due to extremely low waste, low labor and a small footprint.

Delicious cookies, helping children, and profits sound pretty great. But, we were already sold on delicious cookies; where do we sign up? If you’re interested in learning more, email

About Bennett Maxwell

Bennett Maxwell, Founder of Dirty Dough Cookies, started selling franchises in December 2021. Passionate about building purpose-driven companies, Bennett believes businesses should be driven first and foremost by a higher purpose. He saw the potential of Dirty Dough to show others that life isn’t always clean and perfect. Sometimes it is Dirty and imperfect. Find out more about impacting lives with Dirty Dough Cookies at

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