Dear cookie lovers and ice cream connoisseurs of Central Virginia,
Before we jump into things we just wanted to say thank you for all of your support as we figure this little venture out!
I don’t really know how else to say it. We’ve LOVED meeting each and every one of you – you have made these last few weeks so much fun for us. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again – we have been blown away by this community. Jordan and I had zero business experience when we started dreaming, but it has been so much better than we imagined because of all of you. I’m not joking. I mean that from the bottom of my heart.
I figured I’d start by telling you a little story of how Jordan and I met. Thankfully, I (Holly) am writing this one, because it means I get to talk about Jordan for a little bit without him stopping me. We became the Nickerson duo May 12, 2014 because he saw something in 2010 and wouldn’t stop pursuing until he got it. We both attended Liberty University and for those who are unfamiliar with the school, guys and gals are not allowed on each other’s halls so most male-female interaction happens in class, at events, or in the student union. Without going into too much detail, Jordan apparently saw me on campus early on our freshman year and through a few connections found out my name, where I was from, what my major was, and more! He’s very sweet – but, honestly, he came pretty close to stalker-status (he’ll admit it too). One bold night a few months into the semester, finding little opportunity elsewhere, he decided that he had to introduce himself to me (which was probably a good idea at this point because while he knew all the stuff he should have known about me after a first date, I didn’t even know he existed). So, he found out where I lived and boldly knocked on my window. It was a sweet first interaction, but it went sour. He nervously introduced himself to me and asked me on a date. I declined, given that I didn’t know the guy from Adam and caught the 13 other gentleman who were staking out (and videotaping the interaction?) to see if Jordan was actually going to go through with his plan to ask me out point-blank. They sheepishly left my window having been caught – and I’m left thinking this poor guy Jordan probably just lost a bet. The story could have ended there, but it didn’t. He came back and apologized. He showed me a lot of character, and a LOT of guts. He was humiliated I discovered the friends that came with him to watch our first interaction and understood if I didn’t ever want to speak to him again. But, he intrigued me, and over the next couple of months it was my turn to watch him. I found he was kind, God-fearing, and driven. He was strategic and had the ability to motivate others. Honestly, the more I got to know him, the more certain I was that I wanted to be on his team for the long run. He knew where he wanted to go, how to get there, and how to fun along the way. We valued the same things – family, friends, God – and so after he convinced me to date him we both agreed it was marriage or bust. Three and a half years later we said “I do” and he surprised me, and all our guests, with the video of the night we first met! He had one of his friends record it way back then just in case his plan to woo and marry the girl at the window that October night worked out. I should have known life with him was going to be an adventure with a dreamer like that!
Fast forward from when we first met and you’ll find Jordan pursuing other dreams – like become a Resident Assistant (RA) and then a Resident Director (RD). Right after our honeymoon we moved back onto Liberty’s campus into our first little apartment to begin his job as an RD. Every year Jordan oversees about 350 students and leads a team of guys (the RA’s) in leadership, community and culture. He absolutely loves his job and I love how I get to take part in his passion by hosting students every semester in our home. Our favorite thing about RD is the opportunity we have for hospitality – every week we have the RA’s over for dessert, or movies, or games, or whatever while we live life with them.
It has been the best gig in the world – I’m so happy we’re staying for a fourth year! Aside from the job itself, it has given Jordan the opportunity to pursue his Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) which he will graduate with this upcoming fall. And that brings us to the dream that you’re a part of.
Most people don’t wake up one day, randomly decide they’re going to get into the food truck business, and then do it… unless you’re like Jordan.
People will ask us all the time – why Mookie’s? Why a dessert truck? – and if we’re honest, it wasn’t initially about cookies at all. SAY WHAT?! I know… our cookies are awesome. But the real reason we started was to learn. Jordan was pursing his MBA and questioning what might be next after he graduated. Knowing his strengths and having the opportunity of RD to really practice them, he pictured himself in a position of leadership at a start-up company. I could see it too. But, he faced a problem – although a great opportunity, his online education really wasn’t teaching him the in’s and out’s of business leadership. He would tell me “Hol, I’m learning nothing”. And although unfortunate, it’s true – reading about a theory or concept in a book is nowhere close to the education you receive when you actually DO something. For example: when you learn accounting in a book it doesn’t carry as much weight as when you’re balancing your companies own chart of accounts. We don’t ever want to knock our education – we both value that we had the opportunity to go to college – but, in the arena, a degree doesn’t stand a chance against experience. It often ends up just becoming an expensive piece of paper to hang on your office wall once you do land a job. But, he and I both knew that his degree wouldn’t be enough to “wow” in an interview for what he was thinking he wanted to do. So, on a summer date-night in 2015 while we were driving to try the new restaurant that opened in Forest (Trio Brick Oven Eatery) Jordan’s wheels started turning. We sat down to dinner and he said “Holly, I think I want to open a food truck.”
At the time, we didn’t know what we were going to create or how the truck was going to look – but, the more and more he thought about it, the more I could tell we were in it for the long run. (Remember how we met?) It made sense for us – it was a business venture that Jordan and I could pursue without too much risk. It seemed small enough for us to get our hands around while we got our hands dirty – and we did. He called up his brother, Nate, immediately (I’m not kidding. We hadn’t even ordered yet and I was like, seriously! We’re on a date!) and we all started pouring over ideas of what the truck or trailer could become. Before we even settled on cookies (which should have been our first choice – they’re Jordan’s favorite dessert and we had been unknowingly preparing a menu for the past three years from hosting the RA’s every week) we knew how we wanted the truck to look and feel and we knew that we wanted our business to primarily facilitate relationships. We felt that the Lynchburg-Forest area was missing something – and we wanted to fill the void with a business that brought people together.
Since this first post is already getting a little lengthly, I’ll save the details of our brand for another day – but, the coolest thing (to me, anyways) about Mookie’s is that we’re all here, about nine weeks into the coolest little start-up business, because Jordan saw what he wanted and pursued it unrelenting! When Nate and I gave up on the idea a few months later because none of our ideas were taking us anywhere, Jordan kept dreaming. Every time we encountered (and continue to encounter) problems, he drives us all forward to find a solution and keep things fun! And it IS fun – we are having an absolute blast! But, all in all, behind all the cookies, milk, and ice cream, behind the camper, lights and faces of Mookie’s is a 25-year old guy who just wanted to learn a little more about business and create something extraordinary for you.
And that, ladies and gents, is how we got our start. We’re loving the experience, and we hope you do too! Thanks again for standing with us as we learn and grow and learn because the fact of the matter is without you we only would have learned a fraction of what it takes to operate a business – and for that, we are so, so grateful.
Until next time (or when I see you at Mookie’s),