I decided to start my cookie business, MLA Gourmet, because I’ve been baking all my life. I started doing corporate gifts at Christmastime. I did that for several years, and then I entered into the Goodwill of North Georgia microenterprise program.
I learned a lot about financial issues and marketing. The teachers and instructors were very supportive and knowledgeable. When I first started, one of my concerns was that since I’m not very outgoing, I would not be able to go out and sell my cookies. Going through the program and doing the planning has given me a lot of confidence and helped me to really believe that I could make a real business out of this.
The essence of my business is quality. I also want to do something different, so I have created unique recipes. I have cookies for grown-ups that are liquor infused, such as an absinthe chocolate chip and rum cherry chocolate chip. I want them to always be eaten fresh, and that’s one of the reasons why I started producing cookie dough. I know that when people buy the cookie dough, they’re going to bake them and eat them right away.
I just started selling my cookies here at the Whole Foods locally and in Atlanta. I’m hoping to expand to every Whole Foods. Whenever I haven’t been a hundred percent sure that I can do this, I have just been pulled back in and had Goodwill to support me. It’s been just a blessing.
Check out Monique’s cookie offerings at MLAGourmet.com.
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