The Cookie Dough Cafe Before Shark Tank
Julia Schmid and Joan Pacetti are the founders of The Cookie Dough Cafe. The two of them are sisters, and they have come to the Shark Tank seeking $50,000 in exchange for a 20% investment in their company.
Anyone who has ever baked homemade cookies can tell you how tempting the delicious, gooey cookie dough can be. Unfortunately, we all know we should not be sneaking bites of cookie cough due to the raw eggs, and even prepackaged raw cookie dough comes with numerous warnings that say not to eat cookie dough. The two sisters have created a self, edible cookie dough. There is no need for preheating, the project can be enjoyed straight from the jar. The cookie dough is creamy, loaded full of chocolate chips, has real butter, and comes with no preservatives. The Cookie Dough Cafe is the first edible cookie dough on the market, advertised to be eaten as a cookie dough. The two sisters, together, have hand-packaged thousands of pints of cookie dough in the world’s tiniest kitchen, and the two need the help of the Sharks to grow bigger.
The Cookie Dough Cafe on Shark Tank
The two sisters start by handing out samples, starting with tonight’s guest Shark Steve Tisch. Steve is the owner of the New York Giants, and a film producer – he is actually the only person in history to have both a Super Bowl ring and an Emmy award. The sisters distribute samples including chocolate chip, Oreo infused, and vanilla. Kevin asks why the cookie dough is immune to salmonella, and Julia reinforces that there are no eggs in the product. All the Sharks are in love, and even I want some – Steve asks what each pint sells for, and Joan reveals that each pint sells for $6.99 and costs $2.20 to make. Daymond asks if you could also make cookies with the dough, which both sisters reply that you theoretically could, but they would be flat since there is no baking soda and they wouldn’t taste as good without the eggs. The two sisters have been in business a little over year together, and to date, they have $24,000 in sales. Last month, they were $1,600 – all the Sharks stop enjoying their snack and slow in their tracks. Just the week before airing this episode, the two girls actually received a purchase order for more orders than they sold all year which would put them in 50 Fresh Market grocery stores, in addition to their 25 local test grocery stores. Mark presses for details, which Julia reveals that the order was placed for 2,300 pints and will yield a total of $6,000 in profit for the girls.
Lori asks how the sisters are advertising their cookie dough, and Joan reveals that they do very little marketing at all. Lori asks how they are getting into stores, which Julia says that they actually approached a manager with the product, where the manager tasted their product and looked at the packaging and was surprised with it all. That one store has sold $11,000 over a year, which Kevin asks if the sisters honestly think that a product that only does $11,000 could stay on the shelf. They are only selling $900 worth of cookie dough in a month; Kevin doesn’t care at such a low velocity. However, both Lori and Mark jump on Kevin as he begins to lambast the sisters unnecessarily, and Mark changes the topic by asking the sisters how much money they have invested.
So far, the sisters have invested $35,000 between the two of them. With the $50,000 they receive from Shark Tank, they can purchase equipment which will help automate the packaging process, which is the most time-consuming part of their process. Daymond asks what the sisters do outside of The Cookie Dough Cafe, and Julia says she is a part-time agent at a recreational vehicle dealer, while Joan is a stay-at-home mom. The two of them come from a family of entrepreneurs and unfortunately their father passed away, but their brother took over the business. Steve Tisch asks why the millionaire brother hasn’t helped the sisters with a $50,000 loan, and Julia says that they haven’t asked him due to pride. The two came to Shark Tank for the $50,000, but also for a partner that can help get their product into a manufacturing facility and spur their growth. Daymond says that actually brings him to his next statement, where he just says that he loves it. Unfortunately, the two girls are so early at this point, and Daymond would have to do so much of the work and would have to ask so much of the company of the girls that it would be unfair. At this point in the company, Daymond is just a customer in the company, and not an investor. Daymond is the first Shark out.
Mark speaks next, saying that he loves the product and loves what the two sisters are doing – with the
entrepreneurial background he can really relate. But Mark agrees with Daymond, and the two sisters are still in their early stage and they would be turning to the Sharks blindly which would create a lot of work for the Sharks. Joan asks if that wouldn’t be good, since they are in the Shark Tank and not necessarily asking for millions of dollars, and Julia proposes the idea that The Cookie Dough Cafe could even be a specific novelty to the Dallas Mavericks stadium. Mark agrees with Daymond; it is just too early for The Cookie Dough Cafe. Mark is also out.
Kevin notes his biggest problem is the proof of concept – so far, the two girls have sold little. He really doesn’t believe that the product is going to be big, but the sisters beg for Kevin to realize that they went from 25 stores to 75 in a week. Kevin insists that he doesn’t want the two sisters to pursue hell on earth – he sees The Cookie Dough Cafe as a hobby, and not as a business that eventually will “get taken behind the barn and shot.” Kevin is also out of the deal.
Joan comments that people have approached the two sisters, but the two sisters couldn’t make a deal with
people because they didn’t have a distributor; Walgreen’s, for example, approached the sisters and were prepared to finalize a deal but the two sisters just didn’t have the means of producing the inventory in order for them to move to flagship stores. Lori asks how the two sisters made it into Walgreen’s, and Joan says that they actually received a phone call from an agent from Walgreen’s who saw the product on the shelf. Since they did not have a distributor, Walgreen’s left the door open – Joan actually spoke to the same agent only two weeks ago. Lori remarks that she remembers what it was like to be just like the two sisters; she doesn’t agree with Mark, and she doesn’t mind doing hard work, and evidently the two sisters don’t mind doing hard work. However, what really caught Lori’s attention was when Julia made the comment that The Cookie Dough Cafe products could be in stadiums. Lori actually has a guy sitting next to her that has stadiums – Steve Tisch. Steve agrees, seeing the product as a huge success in stadiums, and he even has some hotel contacts and thinks it could be a monster success in hotel rooms. Lori proposes a partnership, which Steve accepts a 50/50 partnership with Lori. Lori and Steve offer a $100,000 investment for 30%, which Steve argues should be bumped to 40%, and the deal is changed to a $100,000 investment for a 40% investment. Julia tries to work in a deal with either a royalty or a credit line, but both Mark and Daymond jump to interrupt her, calling the deal “a sweet deal.”
Julia and Joan return a counter-offer of $50,000 for 20%, wanting to keep most of the equity. Kevin seems a bit lost, but Lori returns an offer of $100,000 for 30%. She checks if Steve is okay with the deal, and Steve accepts the offer, then the two Sharks turn to the sisters. The two sisters accept the deal, earning a $100,000 investment with a 30% stake in their company from both Lori and guest shark Steve Tisch.
The Cookie Dough Cafe Now In 2024 – The After Shark Tank Update
Unfortunately, the deal with Lori and Steve fell through. Despite that, the company has continued to grow. Not only have they introduced new flavors, but they’ve also moved from single pints to smaller sizes, which are a hit at events.
They also started to sell their gourmet cookie doughs online, in addition to various retail locations across the United States. For example, you can order 32 individual cups for $80 or 4 pints for $50.
Fast forward to 2024 and the business is still up and running. If anything, they’ve become even more popular over the years. Nowadays, they’re available in thousands of stores including Speedway, Pick’n Save, Harris Teeter, Market of Choice, Mariano’s Fresh Market, Cub Foods, Kroger, Echo Valley Meats, and Walmart. At one point, they were also available in the refrigerated section at Aldi’s. To find the closest retailer near you, you can check out the “where to buy” page on their website.
For those who’d rather order online, you can do so via their official website. They currently offer eight different flavors including Cookies N’ Cream, Chocolate Cup Mint, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip, Brownie Batter, Confetti Cake, Oreo, Naked Dough, and Everything But the Cookie. They also offer various bundles such as the “Birthday Bundle”, “Top Seller Bundle”, and “Chocolate Lover Bundle”, with come with three to six jars, depending on the selection.
And there are two standard sizes to choose from: mini, which includes 3.5oz of edible cookie dough, and jars, which come with 18oz. On top of that, they also offer “bulk tubs”, which come with 200 ounces of cookie dough. Wholesale cookie dough is also available for those with a store who are interested in selling them by the scoop.
Not only is shipping free for some items, but they also offer promotions every now and then. For example, they currently have a holiday promo, where you can save $5 off orders above $80 and $10 off orders above 99.
For those in the Portland area, they also have a brick-and-mortar location on 13th avenue that offers both their unbaked cookie dough and ice cream (they also offer delivery for local customers via Postmates, Doordash, GrubHub, and Ubereats). Currently, they have a 4.3-star rating on Google, with many customers praising them for their flavors and combos; they also offer free samples of flavors. However, some have noted that the cookie doughs can be quite sweet.
For the latest news and announcements, consider following them on social media. They’re active on Instagram and Twitter under the handle @thecookiedoughcafe. They also have a Facebook page that’s updated regularly.