We love sharing recipes, crafts, ideas and stories from our own lives, but you know what else is awesome? Introducing our readers to some of the really cool people we know. We’re thrilled to be kicking off our newest Q&A blog feature with Nicole Bandklayder, a hard working publicist, serial entrepreneur and fellow foodie.
The Cookie Cups is Bandklayder’s latest business venture, and it’s exactly what its adorable, delicious name sounds like: She bakes cookie dough in mini muffin tins for a unique spin on a classic treat. Of course, being aspiring bakers ourselves, we were drawn to Bandklayder’s story and wanted to know more about how she got her business off the ground.
They say necessity is the mother of invention, and it couldn’t be truer in the case of The Cookie Cups. Bandklayder couldn’t find a baking sheet when she was making cookies, and instead baked them in the first pan she could find: A mini muffin tin. After seeing the result, she decided to continue baking her cookie dough like this, and thus, Cookie Cups were born.
Bandklayder was kind enough to chat with Razzle Frazzle for a behind-the-scenes look at The Cookie Cups.
Razzle Frazzle: The concept for The Cookie Cups started with a happy accident. How did you know it was time to turn it into a full-fledged business?
Nicole Bandklayder: The Cookie Cups was an accident, but I have been playing with bakery business ideas for a few years. After a successful mistake last year on Father’s Day, I knew I was on to something with The Cookie Cups! I basically bought the domain and started thinking about logo ideas and started slow with the intention of a full ramp up this summer.
RF: How do you come up with your fun Cookie Cup flavors?
NB: Trial and error! Baking is a true science, and it definitely took a few months of development to get our first 6 flavors right. I wanted to have Chocolate Chip as a staple, tried a few Red Velvet recipes, and Hazelnut Swirl was created from a few tries as well. Fudge Brownie is actually an old family recipe. Going forward we are planning to add a few flavors a season to keep our selection innovative and exciting.
RF: Which one is your favorite?
NB: My favorite is a toss up between Fudge Brownie and Hazelnut Swirl!
RF: What are your plans for the future of The Cookie Cups?
NB: We have big plans for the future of The Cookie Cups! We plan on adding additional flavors, a Cookie Club, and monthly Cookie Cup of the month subscription option. We also plan to sell our Cookie Cups in specialty retail grocery stores across the nation, and we will be participating at this summer’s Uptown Art Fair in Minneapolis in August 2015.
RF: What do you love most about working in the bakery business?
NB: With baking, there is a lot of heart that goes into the development of each flavor and the brand itself. I see this as a reflection of myself and what I think my customers will really enjoy and I love seeing and hearing from happy customers. When people feel good about something I created, that’s success!