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Help! Cookie Business

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone! I'm from KL, Malaysia. Just found this and very keen to embark on a hunting mission to gather info for my pursuit.

I have started my part-time business on making & selling cookies. This has been going on for the last 3 years and i'm making good progress each year. I was wondering whether it's profitable to start a cookie business on a full time basis, something like Famous Amos. Although, I know that FA has been around for quite sometime and that i am nowhere near there. But would a cookie shop alone do well?

Would certainly welcome ideas from anyone who has embarked on this mission before and the favourable/unfavourable outcome of it.

Wanee
post #2 of 14
I've seen other smaller businesses that are doing only cookies. One was featured on FoodTv awhile back. They deliver hot cookies in a pizza box, it's handy that they are located in a college town. There's a cookie company in the town next to mine doing the same thing....but I have no idea if they are sucessful.

I think everything depends upon you, as to how sucessful this can be. Your in a much different part of the world then I, so I can't begin to know if it's a good thing for you. BUT where there is a will, there is a way. What works for you might not have worked for me. No one can really answer your question. The best I can suggest is for you to do as much homework researching other similar companies.......do a goggle search.

But in the end, your unique, no one else is you making your product and no one else can judge your drive to suceed.
"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your motivation. I note that you're a pastry chef - have you been doing this for a long time? I know of one pastry chef who has been in it for 20 years and still liking it! Wow, i guess it must be the passion and great passion i must say.

Wanee
post #4 of 14
I've been baking professionally for a LONG time now. But I've only been a "pastry chef" for the last several years. I've also worked as a professional artist, so in some ways this is just another medium to learn. The cool thing about pastry is, it's growing and changing every second........I don't feel that way about other traditional art mediums.
"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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post #5 of 14
i applaud pastry chefs i personally learned to bake before i learned to cook (many moons ago in my mothers kitchen) but once i learned food i never looked back to shortcakes pies and such.

as far as the cookie business, do you ship nationally? i have seen many ads for companies that make center pieces or floral arrangements that are all make of cookies also cookies on lolipop sticks for kids parties and things of that nature. one other thing is if you are going to go into it full time look into having your product sold at local open air markets or the local supermarket
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
W.DeBord, i can't agree with you more on the part of changing and growing....and, incidentally, my company is named as LivingArt....It's such a creative thing, isnt it. What's with the color, design and flavour all built in one.

Although being a chef comes with hard work and long hours but i think the end result is one that satisfies the soul when you look back and savour your creation!!!

Thanks Mage for your insight. I havent strictly gone national yet at the moment, i have introduced into a small portion of the market by working with someone who sells seasonal gift hampers. My cookies have been included into the hampers and distributed to quite a number of township.

The response has been good but the gift hampers are done only on a seasonal basis as in my country there are basically 4 major festive season in a year. As i am doing it on a part time basis (as i am working in an office in the day and i havent enough time to market and build up my clientele) i can only manage to target 2 of the seasons. I have also sold the cookies in local sunday markets.

As i have made quite a progress each year, it has prompted me to go full time to target the seasons as well as out of season. But i am pulled back because i am not certain a cookie shop alone would work or maybe a cookie plus cakes, pastries is better. You know what it's like to quit your job, venture into something new only to find out that it's not worthwhile after all. Sharing and receiving insights from you all was worth it, though.

I do agree with you on a theme for my cookie which i have thought of and should be working towards that. Thanks. As W.De Bord has mentioned, it all depends on myself and how i work on it and take it through.

Thanks guys for all the boosters.

Wanee:)
post #7 of 14
Where I live, having a bake shop isn't an easy road to being profitable. I know there are people whom don't own retail locations and are sucessful selling their cookies to others.

One women does only decorated sugar cookies. She sells them thru many outlets, I think she particapates in the fancy food show marketing her cookies.

Then there's Mrs. Fields, The Great American Cookie and Famous Amos.

My point is, you can be sucessful....just making cookies, I don't believe you have to sell other items too.

Have you written a business plan and detailed your marketing plan?
"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
Reply
"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
Reply
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Nope, not yet. I have all the ideas and plans up in my head short of putting it down in writing. The other thing is that i am looking for someone to team up with me, someone who knows what baking & working in the kitchen is like. There are plenty of people who just wants to team up but i think it's very important to have someone who understands baking and been through it all or at least, have the liking for it. I think cooking or baking depends on whether you are born with it and not so much as liking and learning from it, am i right?

Oh yeah, i have been meaning to find out, if you know, what kinds of preservative and how do i go about adding it if i want my cookie to have a longer shelf life? At the moment, mine doesn't come with it and i was thinking if i need to use in the future and if my business kicks off full time, i will be prepared.

Thanks.
Wanee
post #9 of 14

cookie shop

Hi wanee.
in my neck of the woods there is a place called The Great American Cookie Company. There are 3 here I believe. They are quite successful, been in the malls here a long time. They do individual cookies, bulk packs, fresh lemonade, other beverages, frozen icees, and really specialize in doing cookie cakes. It's a very large softer cookie decorated like a cake with anything the customer wants written on it. The cakes are a big part of their success, maybe something you would want to consider.
mike
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks Mike for the info.

I am at the moment working hard to promote and introduce my cookie to the market. Would you happen to know how do i go about adding preservatives so that i can have a longer shelf life?

Wanee
post #11 of 14
Yes, you can improve shelf life by adding dough improvers and modified food starches. For this you will need to contact a food ingredient company.

Kuan
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks Kuan. Great help.

May i also ask whether the preservatives would affect the taste of frozen dough kept in the freezer for. say 1 to 1 1/2 months ?

I note that you're a chef and would be happy to receive insight from you!

Wanee
post #13 of 14
That is a huge question. The obvious answer is yes, it will affect how a product tastes. Dough improvers can bind moisture, change the texture, and substitute for fat. Some preservatives work by changing acidity. Your cookie dough will change depending on what you use and the quantities involved. Depending on what you want to achieve, these additives may not even be noticeable.

In any case, the only way to ensure that your product has long term stability and tastes good is to do some controlled testing.

These days more and more businesses are moving toward a JIT model. This means running leaner, fresher, with lower inventories, and faster turnaround times.

Kuan
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks Kuan for the great insight. Nothing like hearing it from a chef himself. Didnt know that it would be a huge question though!

You mentioned about the JIT model which I presume that my current concept is heading towards that. Since more businesses are adopting that, maybe it would be pointless to explore further into lenghtening shelf life of the cookies if that is the case!

Wanee
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