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New York cookie shop owner ruthlessly shuts down ‘influencer’ with less than 1,000 followers after bride-to-be asked for free gifts for her wedding boxes to ‘spoil my team rotten’


The aspiring influencer reached out to the popular New York cookie brand in an attempt to launch a collaboration ahead of her wedding, only to be met with a monumental takedown instead.

Ana Montealegre, a recent college graduate and «newbie influencer,» emailed Halfsies Cookie Company about including some of the brand’s cookies in her wedding party boxes.

Business owner David Maffei directed Montealegre to the brand’s website where she could place an order.

But the young bride-to-be was interested in continuing to work with the brand, which would mean free cookies provided to her and her bridal party, presumably in exchange for coverage on her social media accounts.

Unfortunately, Montealegre didn’t seem to realize how badly she was barking at the tree.

Aspiring influencer Ana Montealagre (pictured) made the mistake of approaching the wrong brand about a possible collaboration ahead of her upcoming wedding.

What regular followers of the Halfsies Cookie Company account know, but others may not, is that Maffei has almost made a sport out of spiky would-be social media stars and bachelor party planners who approach him in hopes of free goodies.

What regular followers of the Halfsies Cookie Company account know, but others may not, is that Maffei has almost made a sport out of spiky would-be social media stars and bachelor party planners who approach him in hopes of free goodies.

Maffei responded to Montealgre’s email, in which she described herself as an influencer who had ‘worked with several brands’, telling her: ‘Sorry, you’re not an influencer’.

In a video montage of the exchange, which he posted on Halfsies’ official Instagram page, he fired up the bride by highlighting her following online, including on TikTok, where she boasts 904 followers.

Standing her ground in a possibly misguided effort, Montealegre wrote back: «I’m a budding influencer.»

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«And I’m an aspiring astronaut,» Maffei replied.

During the exchange of videos he uploaded to Instagram, Maffei played the song «Free» by DJ Khaled.

Ana Montealagre and Roman Bosquez (pictured) recently got engaged, prompting the bride-to-be to reach out to a number of brands hoping to collaborate on products she wants to feature in her wedding season.

Ana Montealagre and Roman Bosquez (pictured) recently got engaged, prompting the bride-to-be to reach out to a number of brands hoping to collaborate on products she wants to feature in her wedding season.

Halfsies Cookie Company is a New York-based cookie brand that delivers indulgent cookies nationwide

Halfsies Cookie Company is a New York-based cookie brand that delivers indulgent cookies nationwide

If Montealegre then answered again, the audience was not privy to the exchange.

But online viewers were able to absorb Maffei’s methodical takedown of the wannabe-influencer and the entitled nature of the pseudo-profession.

«‘Influencer’ is a wild label,» Dave’s statement began.

“I’m going to tell you how budding influencers can get started (from a branding perspective). You buy products from brands you like and tag them. They will probably transfer you.

«You’ll pick up some followers and maybe other brands will see what you’re doing, and eventually you’ll have engaged followers who are interested in the products you’re getting, but you don’t just ask for a free product to begin with,» he lectured.

He went on to write that some of the «biggest influencers on the internet» bought his cookies and advertised them before they were even sent a free sample.

«I’m a middle-aged man, I have maybe a dozen real friends and a private account, and I have more followers than her,» he concluded.

«Never in a million years would I have thought I was an influencer or even asked for free stuff from a company I don’t follow.»

Not everyone online seemed to be entirely on board with Maffei’s brutal approach to fighting young influencers.

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A lot of viewers from the comment section chastised his behavior.

“Why did you post this just to embarrass her? No less than a brand account?” wrote one account.

The recent college graduate has changed her profiles to private since the video was posted
Montealgre called herself a 'newbie influencer'

The brand owner highlighted Montealgre’s lackluster following on her social media accounts

Ana Gabriela Montealegre is a recent graduate of Oral Roberts University and a February 2025 bride, according to her online profiles.

Ana Gabriela Montealegre is a recent graduate of Oral Roberts University and a February 2025 bride, according to her online profiles.

Another added: “This is rude. She’s actually a micro-influencer.”

‘Lmao that’s the way business is, it’s so easy to say no,’ wrote a third viewer.

Other accounts defended the brand’s anti-influencer stance, or at least were amused by it.

“I don’t know why it’s in my algorithm, but I’m here for it. You really are an astronaut because you shot her all the way to the moon,” wrote Haley J Marshall.

‘Haha, you definitely got a lot more business from this post than if you did a post on your product,’ wrote another fan of the exchange.

What staunch followers of the Halfsies Cookie Company account know that others may not is that Maffei has made a sport of would-be social media stars and bachelor party organizers who make the mistake of expecting something in return for «exposure.»

Instead, Maffei seems to have concluded that bucking the baggy trend is as effective a marketing plan as any, and probably far more effective than handing out treats to all of next season’s brides.



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