Julie Dugoff Waxman loves entrepreneurship and chocolate chip cookies. So much so she left a corporate retail job to start up Baked in Color in May 2016, a cookie company that delivers to most of Westchester, and some parts of NYC and Fairfield. The baking is done either from two double ovens in Dugoff Waxman’s home or, for big events, she rents space at the Cook & Bake Center in Mamaroneck. She employs a full-time baker and two part-time employees to assist with business development and marketing.
We asked her about her budding business and all things chocolate chip cookie.
WM: Why a colored cookie business?
JDW: “Color had emerged as a hot trend across so many food and dessert categories but the only cookies offered in color were macarons and sugar cookies. I love the look of the rainbow bagels, and thought I could translate that concept to chocolate chip cookies. I had a fabulous recipe from my days running a cookie company at college, and I knew I had something that was trend right and potentially fantastic.”
WM: Do you have a background in baking, business, and/or art design/branding?
JDW: “I was a Business and Economics major at Cornell. As a Senior at Cornell, I founded and ran a cookie delivery business, Quickie Cookie. We baked, packaged, and delivered fresh cookies with a quart of milk (think Insomnia Cookies). Though we offered five types of cookies, chocolate chip cookies were far and away the top seller. I sold the company and spent the next several years working in corporate retail at Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy’s. Within these incredible organizations, I developed my skills in business development, strategic and financial planning, merchandising, team building, negotiation, and marketing.”
WM: Do you plan on offering any other items besides chocolate chip cookies?
JDW: “I have had several requests for other types of cookies but I am a big believer in sticking with what you can execute exceptionally well. I plan to expand my product offerings within this category (different packaging, sizes, color execution). Of course, down the road, I am very open to new categories.”
WM: Approximately how many different colors can customers choose from?
JDW: “The color combinations are endless and we can execute just about all of them!”
WM: Most of your orders are for what type of events?
JDW: “The boxes and platters are very popular for small get-togethers and parties. Jars and bags are very popular for corporate events, teacher gifts, and birthday and bar/bar mitzvah party favors.
WM: What was your biggest order?
JDW: “I have several 1,000 to 3,000 unit cookie events (adult birthday parties and bat mitzvahs) over the next two months, in addition to a very large corporate holiday gift order for 5,000 cookies.”
WM: Your cookies have a signature look (besides the color of course) as some of the chocolate chips stick up on top. What’s the thought behind this?
JDW: “In addition to the delicious taste, the color and look of the cookies is what sets Baked in Color cookies apart from other chocolate chip cookies. We believe that the chips on top, in addition to within the cookie, make for a yummier taste and a prettier aesthetic.”
WM: Any big corporations or area businesses as customers?
JDW: “I am close to closing a holiday gift deal for the NYC employees of a multi-billion dollar retail company. Fingers crossed!”
WM: Where do you see your business in 5 years?
JDW: “First on my list, execute national shipping; I am partnering with an expert in the field on how to best execute. I plan to build the brand online and then, in about a year, launch a pop up shop in NYC to further build the brand. I have also thought about collaborations with organizations, think sports teams, colleges etc, like ‘the official cookie of the New York Giants’ (blue and red cookie).
Also, the cookies photography is a natural for apparel; think printed pants, T-shirts, caps, etc. My retail background is in apparel so I have the know how and connections to execute that part of the business once the brand is established.”
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