SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- A South Orange, New Jersey Girl Scout has found sweet relief in her cookie sales, which are soaring after she struggled to sell boxes of springtime favorites.
As CBS2's Jessica Layton reported, Charlotte McCourt, 11, is offering some brutally honest critiques. She called one make of cookies "a bleak, gluten-free, flavorless wasteland, and rated it a 1 out of 10."
That assessment could have caused Charlotte's Girl Scout cookie sales to crumble. But it had the opposite effect.
"Somebody bought 100 boxes!" Charlotte said.
Charlotte's sales are now soaring.
"I never even thought it was possible to get past 400," she said. But now, her total is 16,000.
A week ago, people were not buying as many Samoas and Thin Mints as Charlotte hoped – especially when it came to the option for donating the classic cookies to U.S. troops.
"There had only been two boxes donated," she said.
So as a sales pitch, Charlotte emailed a family friend rating each cookie.
"I put Tagalongs as an 8, Do-si-dos as a 6," she said.
TV show host Mike Rowe heard about the letter, found it hilariously refreshing, and posted a video where he read some of her descriptions.
That was when sales took off.
It turns out it was through a conversation with friends at their church that the McCourt family realized the true impact of Charlotte selling thousands of boxes of cookies.
The son of Patty and John Hetherington of Short Hills has been deployed twice.
"The little comforts of home," John Hetherington said.
"To want to touch someone's heart with that – with that just little something -- I get all emotional," Patty Hetherington said.
Charlotte's buyers have since sent more than 7,000 boxes to service men and women. Charlotte is on track to break the record for best sales – but that's not what this is about.
"I feel it's about helping people that are helping us," she said.
The sixth grader is on a mission that is eye-opening and honest.
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