Photos by Jordan Hefler

As Seen on Instagram: Caroline’s Cookies cultivates a sweet community on social media

Caroline’s Cookies

Opened: 2021 | Cookie Type: Thick & Gooey | @eat_carolinescookiesbr

Since 2022, cookie sales have risen by over 9%, and almost one in four people ate more cookies in 2023 than the year before, according to the latest trends report by chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut. But you don’t need a bunch of data to see that the cookie craze has arrived in Baton Rouge. Just head to Perkins Rowe around 11 a.m. as the doors of Caroline’s Cookies open to welcome a line of customers that often wraps around the block. Her store hours are 11 a.m. to sell out, which, depending on the day, can happen in an hour or two.

After securing one of the highly anticipated boxes, happy customers take to Instagram to declare the doughy delights “worth the wait.” It all feels full circle because, for Caroline Merryman, Instagram is where the cookie craze started.

Amid the pandemic shutdown, she began baking sweet treats to pop into the mailboxes of her friends and family. In only a few drop-offs, she discovered that the cookie was the most durable treat, able to withstand a South Louisiana afternoon in a mailbox the way a cupcake never could. Then, she launched an Instagram page with her brother, Reece Merryman, to document the process and get feedback on the experimental flavors she cooked up in her parents’ kitchen.

“It’s crazy to think that my brother and I started the page for fun with no intention of selling the cookies or making a business out of it,” she says. “I didn’t even show my face for a while. We didn’t think about the colors or the branding. I’m really grateful for that because I think if I knew what Caroline’s Cookies would be today, I would have overthought it and let my fear get the best of me. But it was such a gradual process that I couldn’t be fearful or look too far into the future.”


She now manages two storefronts, with Reece handling the company’s branding and marketing efforts. And the Instagram accounts for the Baton Rouge and Lafayette locations together boast over 50,000 followers. Amid the growth, with 41 employees at the Baton Rouge location alone, Caroline has kept her cookie business a family affair. Her 92-year-old grandmother is known to pop in the Lafayette shop to sticker and open boxes some days, and her sister remains a top flavor tester.

“Social media is where we gained our entire following,” she says. “I try to continue to be transparent in showing what it’s like behind the scenes not only as a bakery but as a small business.”

Caroline points to social media as a catalyst for the craze, though she’s hesitant to call cookies a trend.

“They are a new spin on a classic that we all grew up on. I didn’t invent anything, necessarily,” she explains, pointing to the thick and gooey confections that delight lovers of half-baked cookies. “But good desserts are always going to be around. It’s one of the things Louisiana lives by.”

While she never expected her version of the perfect cookie to create such a demand, the 22-year-old has more than risen to the occasion. With a slew of new offerings like cookie cakes, catering, delivery and a loyalty program, Caroline continues to innovate on the simple pleasure of a gooey cookie.