Cookie Dough Entrepreneurship
This is a story of entrepreneurship with Bro Dough. A thriving company founded by Erica with no prior experience being an entrepreneur, but a great idea!
Tell us about your small business.
Bro Dough is a better-for-you edible cookie dough that contains 50% less sugar than regular cookie dough and 5 x more protein. It’s also 100% plant-based and has zero artificial sweeteners or preservatives. My neighbours mom was a baker and growing up we used to eat cookie dough by the spoonfuls, which resulted in sugar crashes and tummy aches. I wanted to reinvent a nostalgic treat by removing some sugar and making it healthier/functional.
Tell us more about yourself & your team!
I am the chief everything officer/CEO (as of right now) and wear all of the hats. I grew up in a small town of 25 thousand people, and owned horses growing up. I also spent a lot of time working on farms, mucking stalls and taking care of horses (but didn’t live on a farm, sadly). I got my bachelors degree in psychology, and have had my fair share of jobs.
I developed a love for health and fitness in university where I started learning how to exercise and eat properly. I later competed in multiple body building competitions in 2018. Although I know longer compete, health and wellness is a big part of my why, and I want to help make the world a healthier place.
What is your favorite part of what you do?
My favourite thing about being an entrepreneur/owning my own business is watching something grow in real time, that you created. I journal a lot and sometimes on my hard days I flip back to earlier journal entries just to see how far I’ve come, and how my struggles evolve. There is nothing cooler than watching people love what you created, with your own two hands, from the ground up. It’s hard work – but it’s so rewarding.
What made you want to do this, and how did you get started?
When I went backpacking through SE Asia, I was meant to go for one month but stayed for three. I met folks from all over, pursuing all different types of careers/businesses. Most of the people I met were entrepreneurs and as I started to learn more about these people, I realized that I was just as qualified to run a business.
A lot of the entrepreneurs I met had no prior business experience, or even experience in their specific industry, which was really interesting to me. When I got home from my trip, I googled “business workshop near me”, and drove 45 minutes to a business resource centre to take some workshops over the course of a month. I built out a business plan, and shortly after started recipe testing in my kitchen. I then launched the business later that year.
Tuxedo Brownie Cookie Dough
Suscipit taciti primis tempor sagittis euismod libero Craving something chocolate? We got you covered, bro! Our Tuxedo Brownie Cookie Dough is infused with cocoa to give the dough our signature chocolate brownie flavour with some added sweetness from vegan white chocolate chips and regular chocolate chips. You’ll love this a choco-LOT!
What does a typical day look like for you?
Some days are chaotic, some days are more organized. I usually wake up, make breakfast, journal (if I’m feeling it), and listen to some music or a podcast. Then I write my “power list” for the day – usually containing 5 critical tasks to push the business forward. I check emails, take a lunch break, and then try to get in some movement for the day whether it be a walk outside, a gym workout, or yoga. But don’t get me wrong… some days aren’t like this. Sometimes fires need to be put out and your whole day is full of scrambling and problem solving – but that’s entrepreneurship.
Where do you want to end up / what goals do you want to achieve?
My goals are always changing, and while I love Bro Dough and want to grow it into a household name, my mission is bigger. I hope to inspire young female entrepreneurs to pursue their passions. Speaking to students and the younger generation about the possibilities and opportunities that are available to them is what fires me up. I personally feel the system is broken and we need to better educate people about what they CAN do – I was never taught about entrepreneurship and was led to believe I had to work for someone else my entire life.
What are some of the more memorable obstacles that you’ve had to overcome?
A personal obstacle I faced was imposter syndrome, which can still be a hurdle for me today (but definitely less of an issue). I had a hard time believing and accepting I was a CEO/founder. But as I started to grow the business and reminded myself about all of the hard work I’ve put in to get here, it became easier and I’ve fully accepted the role.
With the business, I spent four months trying to find a manufacturer that would work with me. When you’re a small business doing small volumes, not many people will take you seriously or want to grow with you. Finding the right partner was a challenge but I was finally able to find a manufacturer that believed in me/the brand.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own business?
If I could give one piece of advice, it would be that: done is better than perfect. You don’t need a fancy website, or fancy product photos/labels. Do as much as you can at the beginning to prove that the business is actually going to work (and that it’s a product or service people will use). As the business grows, only then start reinvesting in the business. Don’t wait for everything to be perfect to launch, just launch. And what you start with, isn’t going to be what you end with… things are always evolving.
Being an Entrepreneur
Bro Dough is such a fun example of being a solid entrepreneur. For years we have been eating cookie dough while we’ve been eating making the cookies, so it’s wonderful to have some cookie dough that’s so much healthier!
Often times when you’re an entrepreneur or starting down that path – it can be a daunting thought. Erica and Bro Doughs is an example of the grit you need to be a successful entrepreneur.
There will be struggles, and in the beginning you will often find yourself wondering if things are going to work out. If the business/product is something you believe in, you have to keep pushing.
When you’re a small business, especially a new small business – you won’t have the cash flow of a larger business to do large quantities. Smaller quantities makes it harder to find a supplier, much like the struggles Bro Dough had in the beginning. It also makes it a challenge because because the lower build quantities will result in a higher cost – which means you’ll have less profits to work with to push things further.
Find something you believe in, and don’t give up hope when the path up the mountain is slow.
It is thrilling to see someone who is new to the entrepreneur adventure have the joy of building a successful and growing small business!
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