In many ways the move is the ultimate direct-to-consumer marketing strategy that literally sets The Dough Jar’s products apart from the competition, but the move also is a big risk that comes with its own challenges.
“Our bread and butter, so to speak, has been edible cookie dough jars,” which come in a 4-ounce and 8-ounce size and are sold in retail stores, online across the country and through a catering arm, company founder and CEO Lindsay Goldin told FoodNavigator-USA.
She explained that while the CPG side of the business is blooming, she is hopeful that opening a brick and mortar store will help build brand awareness and demand for the packaged product at retail as well as “legitimize” the concept of edible cookie dough.
“What are doing with our brick and mortar is we will still have [the CPG jars at the store] but it will also be a scoop shop, where we are scooping the cookie dough like ice cream and putting toppings… and we also are going to be adding all sorts of different, I call them concoctions,” including ice cream cookie dough sandwiches, sundaes, shakes and baked goods centered on cookie dough, she said.
She added she is hopeful the expanded menu and physical location will help increase brand awareness by giving buyers a place to come and experience the product, see how it is made and see the proof of concept.
“I also think it legitimizes the brand, which is really interesting because in today’s world of virtual applications and technology, I think having a brick and mortar is less and less common. You know, people moving to online ordering and even ordering food online. … But at the same time, I think having that space and being present on the street” will help “people really feel like you are legit company,” Goldin said.
Bringing everything under one roof
The store will also double as Goldin’s production facility – giving her private space to make the CPGs as well as food service items.
“We are really excited to bring everything under one roof, where our inputs are in the same place as our outputs. A place where we are producing our CPG side of the business is the same place where custoemrs are coming and purchasing the product, and really making it feel like one integrated system where all the sales channels are coming together,” she said.
Before opening the shop, Goldin produced her edible cookie dough at Union Kitchen – a shared kitchen and incubator in Washington, DC, where she said she learned how to scale up her recipe, follow health codes and run a business.
Overcoming challenges to seize opportunities
While Goldin is excited about the new chapter of her business, she also is aware it will come with challenges.
“I think the biggest challenge is really going to be figuring out what the demand is and how we are going to ramp up production,” she said. “I can make a production schedule for our current operations in my sleep, but we are adding a lot to our menu and … it is just a lot of moving pieces. But just like when I started the business, I think there will be a learning curve and then we will figure it out and get there.”
As she embraces the new challenges the store will bring, Goldin says she will try to follow her own advice that she gives to other entrepreneurs, which is “just do it.”
She explained: “I am a planner. I make lists. I put everything in my calendar. I over analyze. … But with this business, I wanted to leave my job, so I really had a driving force and I just jumped in and I learned things along the way.”
She added that while she made some mistakes, she doesn’t regret her decision to jump in with two feet – rather, she said, “I think if I had thought about it more and planned more, I wouldn’t even have a business.”
Looking forward, Goldin hopes to add more stores in the future while also ramping up distribution of her packaged goods so that she ultimately has national reach and her cookie dough can be found in any store.
While this is ambitious, Goldin adds, “I am just taking it one step at a time.”