There's a new Instagram account that has tongues wagging all over New York City and beyond.
It's called @cookieDOnyc and has already garnered 21,000 followers since launching a few months ago.
The Cookie DO feed is filled with delicious-looking personal tubs of edible cookie dough. It can either be baked into cookies or eaten raw, thanks to a substitute pasteurized egg product that's completely safe to eat.
The small containers come in 19 fun flavors, like "confetti," and "chocolate dream"...
... And even grain-free or vegan healthier options.
At $14 per container, $40 for a four-pack, or $56 for six-pack, the cutely packaged dough makes a great gift or party favor:
"I was just baking as a hobby and bringing in cookies to the office. It was the one thing I really enjoyed doing and trying to make different flavors," she told Business Insider. "So I would just bring them into co-workers, send them with my husband to work, and everyone would always say, 'Oh you need to sell these, or you need to open a bakery.' And I just kind of laughed it off for the longest time."
But then one day, inspiration hit.
"I made so many cookies and my husband and I would just sit around eating the cookie dough," says Tomlan, who is originally from St. Louis. "And we’re like 'How is this not a thing that somebody has done successfully?'"
From there, Tomlan and her husband started working on a business plan.
"Initially, our concept was to have a storefront," she says. "We started our business plan at the beginning of last year, but when I revisited it a few months later, we thought instead of starting with a retail store from the get-go, if we were to launch an online site and use social media to gain followers, fans, and build up a customer base first, then we could open a store front in Manhattan. We would already know that it’s a concept, and know that people like it, rather than just taking this big, giant chance. So, we decided to take a couple steps back, re-look at things, and launch it online first."
So far, the online business has been successful, with people ordering between $20 and several hundred dollars worth of product.
"Its just really took off from there," Tomlan tells BI. "We launched just to friends, family, and co-workers in the beginning of December. We launched just to people we know before the holidays so that we could work out some of the kinks. And then in the middle of January, it got picked up by people on social media, and the buzz started growing. People really loved sharing it with other people. They found our Instagram account, and everybody just tags other people to look at the account, and then they started following us. It’s taken off way quicker than we could have even hoped for, so it’s been great."
New Yorkers can currently pick up the dough at the company's midtown headquarters, or have it delivered for $15, but everyone else will have to order online for now.
As for future plans, Tomlan tells us, "In a dream world, I would be in every grocery store. I would definitely have a storefront in the New York City, and I don’t want to just limit myself to the cookie dough. I could see it becoming a much bigger brand than just selling this one product."
In the meantime, says Tomlan, "We’re continuing to build the brand. We’re looking into getting into new markets, getting on shelves, doing more events, pop-up shops, that kind of thing."
As for if she's tempted to eat cookie dough all day, Tomlan says, "In the beginning, I would have a couple bites and then I would fill an order and I would be a couple bites short and I would be kicking myself because I’d have to make a whole new batch, so I stopped eating it unless I have some sort of leftovers. But then there are some days where literally I have no time to eat anything and my diet consists of coffee and cookie dough."
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