June 20, 2024

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A New York cake shop owner ruthlessly shut down an ‘influencer’ with less than 1,000 followers after a bride asked for freebies for her wedding boxes to ‘spoil my rotten team’

A New York cake shop owner ruthlessly shut down an ‘influencer’ with less than 1,000 followers after a bride asked for freebies for her wedding boxes to ‘spoil my rotten team’
  • An aspiring influencer reached out to a popular cookie brand with high hopes
  • The owner’s vicious response sparked an online debate about influencer culture



An aspiring influencer reached out to a popular New York cookie brand in an attempt to launch a collaboration ahead of her wedding, but instead was met with a massive removal.

Anna Montealegre, a recent college graduate and “budding influencer,” emailed Halfsies Cookie Company about including some of the brand’s cookies in their wedding boxes.

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

But the young bride was interested in pursuing a collaboration with the brand that would mean offering her and her bridal party free cookies, likely in exchange for coverage across her social media accounts.

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

Aspiring influencer Anna Montealegre (pictured) made the mistake of approaching the wrong brand about a potential collaboration ahead of her upcoming wedding.
What consistent followers of the Halfsies Cookie Company account know, and what others may not, is that Maffei has made a sport of social media stars and bachelorette organizers reaching out to him in hopes of getting free goodies.

Mavi responded to the email from Montealegre, a self-described influencer who has “collaborated with a few brands”, by saying: “Sorry, you’re not an influencer.”

In a video of the exchange he posted on the Halfsies’ official Instagram page, he set the bride on fire by highlighting her online followers, including TikTok where she has 904 followers.

In her defense, in what was perhaps a misguided effort, Montealegre responded: “I’m a newbie influencer.”

“And I’m a rookie astronaut,” Muffy replied.

During the video exchange he uploaded on Instagram, Mavi played the song “For Free” by DJ Khaled.

Anna Montealegre and Romain Bosquez (pictured) recently got engaged, prompting the bride to reach out to a number of brands in hopes of collaborating on products she wants to be part of her wedding season.
Halfsies Cookie Company is a New York-based brand that ships delicious cookies nationwide

If Montealegre responded again after that, the public would not be privy to the conversation.

But online onlookers were able to come to grips with Maffei’s methodical takedown of a wannabe influencer and the alleged nature of the bogus profession.

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“‘Influencer’ is a wild label,” Dave’s diatribe began.

“Let me tell you how beginner influencers can get started (from a brand perspective).” You can buy products from brands you like and tag them. They will probably repost you.

“You’ll pick up some followers and maybe other brands will see what you’re doing and you’ll eventually have an engaged following that’s interested in the products you receive but aren’t initially asking for a free product.” Present.

He went on to write that some of the internet’s “biggest influencers” bought his cookies and advertised them before sending out a free sample.

He concluded by saying: “I am a middle-aged man and I have perhaps dozens of real friends and a private account and I have more followers than her.”

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

Not everyone online seems to agree entirely with Mavi’s brutal approach to combating youth influencers.

Many onlookers in the comments section rebuked his behavior.

“Why did you post this just to embarrass her?” As a brand account no less? One account wrote.

The recent college graduate has turned her profile to private since posting the video
Montealegre described herself as a “budding influencer.”
Anna Gabriella Montealegre is a recent graduate of Oral Roberts University and a February 2025 bride, according to her online profile.

Another added: “That’s rude. She’s actually a micro influencer.”

A third viewer wrote: “What a way the company is behaving, it’s so easy to say no.”

Other accounts defended the brand’s anti-influencer stance, or at least had fun with it.

“I know why I have this in my algorithm but I’m here for it.” “You really are an astronaut because you shot it all the way to the moon,” Hallie J. Marshall wrote.

“Haha, you definitely got more business from this post than you would have if you did a post on your product,” another fan wrote in exchange.

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What consistent followers of the Halfsies Cookie Company account know, and what others may not, is that Maffei has made a sport out of wannabe social media stars and bachelorette party organizers who make the mistake of expecting something in exchange for “exposure.”

Instead, Maffei seems to have come to the conclusion that combating the giveaway trend is as effective a marketing scheme as any other, and likely far more effective than handing out gifts to all next season’s brides.