NY baker blasts ‘beginner influencer’ demanding free cookies to ‘spoil’ bridesmaids

He doesn’t play about his dough

Freebies are absolutely not on the menu for wannabe influencers at Halfsies Cookie Company in New York. 

And its no-nonsense owner, David Maffei, has absolutely no qualms about putting content-creating cons, including brides-to-be, on full blast. 

NY bakery owner David Maffei tells The Post that giving away free treats to aspiring influencers would put him out of business. @halfsiescookieco/Instagram

“Sorry, you’re not an influencer,” scolded Maffei, from Marlboro, NY, at a so-called “beginner influencer,” seeking free batches of his gooey goodies for her bridesmaids.

“And I’m a beginner astronaut,” he mocked in his email response.

He tells The Post that small businesses are too often hounded by gift-hungry grifters hoping to score swag sans legitimate online presences. 

“When we started getting dozens of these — mostly bachelorette — party requests from people that have never ordered with us or even follow us I was annoyed,” said Maffei, a married father in his forties. 

He’s recently reached internet acclaim for virtually exposing would-be cookie thieves to Halfsies’ over 63,000 Instagram followers. 

“I decided to start sharing these interactions with our following so people could understand what we deal with behind the scenes,” the confectioner continued. “But also, in hopes of shedding light on this trend for other small businesses who maybe would be fooled by it.”

Maffei tells The Post that his family-owned small business is often inundated with requests for free bites from folks who’ve never patronized his shop . @halfsiescookieco/Instagram
Maffei and his wife launched Halfsies in 2019. @halfsiescookieco/Instagram
Companies across the globe have called out influencers for attempting to scam them out of free products. @halfsiescookieco/Instagram

And Maffei seems to be right on the money. 

Burgeoning brands worldwide have unabashedly blown the whistle on phony-balonies demanding gear, goods and foods in exchange for a social media shout out in lieu of cold-hard cash. 

Stratis Morfogen, owner of Brooklyn Chop House and Brooklyn Dumpling Shop, previously told The Post, “We say no to influencers more than we say yes,” due to their incessant calls for complimentary eats. 

Executives of Lucky Ramen and Sushi, based in the UK, digitally sliced and diced a trendsetter requesting a no-cost meal in May, saying in an Instagram rebuke: “We’re just thrilled that you appreciate our food, but hey, we appreciate paying customers even more!.”

Maffei’s not-so-sweet exchange with the bunco bride garnered over 1.2 million cyber views

Maffei informed the aspiring trailblazer that she’s not quiet an established virtual personality. @halfsiescookieco/Instagram

“My fiance and I just got ENGAGED!!! I’m tying the knot and gearing up to spoil my squad rotten!,” explained the soon-to-be-misses, per screenshot of an email to Halfsies. 

“As I dive into wedding planning,” she added, “I’d love to include your amazing products in my bridal party boxes. Are you in for some bridal bliss? Let’s chat!.”

But after taking a peek at the fiancée’s online profiles, peeping her less than 2,500 combined Instagram and TikTok subscribers, Maffei virally served up her just desserts. 

The bride-to-be did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

“’Influencer’ is a wild label,” the unbending businessman captioned the video post. 

Maffei shut down the bride with a cheeky response to her free-cookies request. @halfsiescookieco/Instagram

“I’m a middle-aged man with maybe a dozen real friends and a private account and I have more followers than her,” he barked. “Never in a million years would I think I’m an influencer or even ask for free stuff from a company I don’t follow.”

And while Maffei doesn’t like leaving a bad taste in an aspiring tastemaker’s mouth, the breadwinner tells The Post he has to be overly selective when it comes to spreading his crumbs. 

“Sending out free product to everyone who wants it [in exchange for a] post would end our company very quickly,” said Maffei. “In this economy, we are all just trying to stay alive.“

Written by New York Post