Around Town

Arlington cookie company MOLTN continues expansion two years after opening

Two years after launching in Arlington, MOLTN Cookies founder Neal Miglani tells ARLnow his business is not only thriving, but expanding.

The reason, Miglani says, is due to the company’s unique business model.

“Our excitement stems from more than just new flavors or tech,” he said. “It’s about our strong belief in our licensing model. This approach lets us quickly adapt and expand, making MOLTN Cookies accessible to cookie fans everywhere.”

Upon arriving at the Arlington location at 6017 Wilson Blvd, customers will not find the typical bakery setup. Instead, they are greeted by a kiosk and a spacious kitchen located further inside. The local cookie business started out by offering its products exclusively through delivery or takeout, a model often referred to as a “ghost kitchen.”

For Miglani, opening a ghost kitchen — one of many that have popped up around Arlington since the start of the pandemic — was the ideal response to the “huge financial investment” associated with operating a traditional restaurant space.

“We didn’t want to do a traditional buildout like you see so many other places spending an absurd amount of money on,” Miglani told ARLnow.

To cut costs, MOLTN approached Allspice Catering in 2022 about co-renting their space at the Dominion Hills shopping center. Soon after, MOLTN moved into the shared space, which was already outfitted with a complete kitchen and the necessary equipment for baking.

“We just had to bring in a freezer and our mixers and we were good to go,” Miglani said.

MOLTN has similar partnerships with several other small businesses across four of the company’s existing locations, including Chantilly, Ashburn and D.C.

Miglani says he is now planning on partnering with ice cream businesses because they bring in a profit in warmer months, when there is lower demand for warm, gooey cookies.

“We’re really busy in the winter time and ice cream is busy in the summertime,” Miglani said. “So it kind of creates the perfect balance and opportunity to fill in that slow season.”

Each partnership MOLTN pursues is intended to complement the sale of pastry goods, says Miglani. For example, if customers were to stop by MOLTN’s Ashburn location, which has partnered with the pizzeria Eataliano, they could order an Italian deep dish pizza and a “bake-to-order” cookie.

“It’s a win-win for everybody because they are selling our products and they are creating more channels for them to be able to sell stuff,” Miglani said.

MOLTN has also partnered with with the Indian-American breakfast eatery Eggholic in Chantilly, and Teddy & The Bully Bar in D.C.

Believing there’s no other cookie business like his, Miglani says he’s confident MOLTN will be the one left standing if and when others begin to crumble.

“I think we’ll see a lot of closures in the business but we’re not too worried about that because we’ll still be here,” he said.