Dark humor fills the fortune cookies of Asheville’s Bad Luck Bakery


Superstition. Mystery. A little dark humor.

All that and more is wrapped up in a fortune cookie by Bad Luck Bakery, a new entrepreneurial venture by Dylan Correll and a group of colleagues. They’re making what they are calling “unfortune” cookies.

The fortune cookies are typical sugary treats filled with darkly humorous messages, such as “Your 10 year-old self would be disappointed” or “We know your Internet history.” The tasty cookies come in a big black box emblazoned with the Bad Luck Bakery name.

Correll, who was born and raised in Western North Carolina, says he’s one of three partners in the new business. The two other partners wish to remain anonymous, he says.

“This is as much a social experiment as anything,” Correll says. “The guys I’m doing this with have a much longer line, and this is just what’s happening right now.”

“We want this to be a bit of a monolith of mystery,” he says, adding: “I would say the intention is that we feel the world is in need of humor more than ever. We are all believers in the power of dark humor’s cathartic effect for society.”

Launching Bad Luck Bakery is a first for Correll, who says he spent about a decade in New York City working on feature films, mostly on the editing end. He says his business partners are long-time colleagues.

For now, the marketing effort for the “unfortune” cookies is to sprinkle them across Asheville and use an Instagram account (@badluckbakery) to showcase the reactions of people opening one for the first time. (You can buy them online at badluckbakery.com.)

Jarika Johnson, who is handling social media and marketing for Bad Luck Bakery, says she’s been thrilled with the reactions she’s been seeing.

“People in Asheville have been very open to receiving it,” she says. Some folks, perhaps a little more superstitious than others, might be tentative at first, Johnson adds, but the cookies are a good reminder about actually letting the real bad stuff in life go.

Correll says “there are a lot of layers to this,” including watching how people and pop culture react, especially in a world where you’re exposed to everything all the time. Our intent here is not to be loud or demanding attention in that way, but hopefully to be intriguing.

Bad Luck Bakery will celebrate with a launch party from 7-9 p.m. tonight, June 16, at Trade & Lore coffee shop on Wall Street in downtown Asheville.