By Tyler Clifford - November 07, 2017 7:15 a.m.
CRAIN'S DETROIT BUSINESS
- Team plans to invest $400,000 into edible raw cookie dough cafe in Detroit
- Detroit Dough expects to launch in the spring
- Owners plan to give back to community with sales, discounts
A band of millennials are mixing up a new cookie dough business that they hope will serve as a "beacon of hope" in the depressed NW Goldberg neighborhood in Detroit.
Chief Marketing Officer Daniel Washington, a 24-year-old Detroit native, said his team of partners plans to invest $400,000 to launch Detroit Dough LLC, which will serve edible raw cookie dough. His sister Victoria Washington, 27, and business partner Autumn Kyles, 24 of Farmington, will lead the business as general manager and CEO, respectively.
"As a kid, I always loved to sneak a scoop of cookie dough when my mom made cookies. Today, I'm still in love with cookie dough and I know that most people still love it, too," Kyles said in a statement. "I think in today's age there's always that opportunity to push the boundaries and try new concepts that connect people together through food. This is my way of sharing my love with others while giving back."
In a Cold Stone-style service, patrons will be able to create their own treat, starting with one of five dough bases and choosing from more than 50 mix-ins. One scoop costs $5, two scoops for $7 and three for $9, with mix-ins available for 50 cents each.
The cafe will also serve 20 signature creations, it said in a news release. Homemade pastries, milk, Faygo pop, coffee and ice cream are among the other goodies that will also be on the menu.
"The dough will be safe to eat because there are no eggs. The recipe allows for an amazing product at the end of the day. My brother is an executive chef, who worked out the recipe," Daniel Washington said.
Executive Chef Theodore Washington, 29, runs custom cake business Cakes By: Teddy Washington III LLC out of his home in Detroit. "(The dough) cannot be baked, so we are going to hang our hats on the people who like cookie dough without it being baked," Daniel Washington said.
Detroit-based Three Squared Inc. was tapped to design the 1,200-square-foot cookie dough bar on the corner of Linwood Street and Ferry Park Avenue out of six custom-built shipping containers. The cafe will feature patio and (nonalcoholic) bar seating. A contractor has not been selected.
The entrepreneurs are looking at a mix of loans, accelerator grants and private investments to fund the startup. Victoria Washington and Kyles will pitch for a $10,000 grand prize in the Dolphin Tank pitch event in Detroit on Wednesday hosted by the Michigan Women's Foundation. On Dec. 1, they will pitch for a chance at $2,500 in seed money in Lawrence Technological University's Detroit Center For Design + Technology Design Accelerator 10-week program. The accelerator "helps aspiring business owners take an idea from concept to creation to grow new opportunities in the city of Detroit," according to its website.
With a projected spring launch, Daniel Washington said they expect to break even in the first two years before realizing $300,000 in annual sales.
The owners will offer NW Goldberg residents a 10 percent discount on all orders and donate 10 percent of nonresident sales to organizations and programs that serve the community.
"We want to remove blight. We see the disparity between the downtown and the neighborhood," Washington said. "So that's our mantra: Why not us? It's a neighborhood that deserves the same love and investment as others."
Editor's note: This version of the story corrects the location of Cakes By: Teddy Washington III and the order of names of the partners in the photo.
View the original article here: http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20171107/news/644311/team-plans-cookie-dough-cafe-to-help-boost-detroit-neighborhood