Five Questions with Vicki and Stephen Kotris of Cleveland Cookie Dough Company
Cleveland Cookie Dough Company is a mobile business serving edible cookie dough, ice cream sundaes and more via its mobile food truck, nicknamed “Chip.” Recently named the second-best food truck in Cleveland by Cleveland Scene, the company publishes its mobile locations on its website and also offered a variety of catering options for individual clients.
What inspired you to create your business?
We went to a Cleveland Indians vs. Yankees game in New York City and we saw a company that was selling edible cookie dough and other kinds of fun cookie dough treats. We thought, “Why not Cleveland?” This is happening in New York and it was popping up in cities like LA and Chicago. We wanted to be the ones to bring it to Cleveland.
What separates Cleveland Cookie Dough Company from the competition?
A big differentiator for us is the experience we bring to events. We also focus on diversifying our flavors and our menu. We don’t stick with just the traditional chocolate chip; we’ve done flavors like bourbon bacon for some of our collaborations with local businesses. We’re not afraid to try new flavors and do something that’s unique to our business. So it’s really in the overall branding and our take on the creativity that comes with selling desserts.
How did you first learn about JumpStart and the Core City: Cleveland Impact Program?
We went to JumpStart’s annual Startup Scaleup two years ago right when we first had the idea and didn’t know much about starting your own company. We learned a lot, and then Startup Scaleup came around again this year and after meeting other participants there from the Core City: Cleveland Impact program, we thought it’d be a great resource for us.
What advice would you offer other entrepreneurs who need help and are considering reaching out?
Don’t wait until you have all your ducks in a row. Don’t think you need to have your business plan finished or your revenue markers completed. Just come and start the conversation and ask some of the questions to kick it off. But don’t think you have to have everything done before you start asking for help.
What are your future plans for your business?
We’re hoping to have our brick and mortar location open in one year, so we’ll have a physical location and the mobile truck. We’re also hoping to expand our catering menu and onsite options.
Learn more about Cleveland Cookie Dough Company at clecookiedough.com. Then, come watch Vicki and Stephen pitch their business live on December 4 for a chance to win up to $10,000 at the Core City: Cleveland Entrepreneur Showcase.