Why we started Gookie Dough
In 2015, Anja hated her job and I was struggling to make money as a club promoter after quitting my 9-5 to be my own boss.
I was paying myself £600 per month from my own credit card to ensure I could cover the bills and got into debt.
My lowest point was when my card was refused at Tescos for a bottle of water so I had to go fill up my bottle in the toilets at St Pancras station.
At this point, I felt so ashamed.
I knew things had to change.
Anja was applying to numerous jobs just looking for a way out of her existing role in customer service.
None of the jobs she applied for even responded so we made the decision that the only option was to take matters into our own hands.
So, we sat down and discussed what we both enjoy doing as we didn't want to feel like we are 'working'.
Anja really enjoyed baking so originally we were going to be a mail-order cookie company.
But when developing the recipe we found we were eating the dough before it made it to the oven.
We then developed a recipe that was safe to eat raw but also baked into amazing cookies.
If you have ever tried Domino's cookies then you will know how divine a crunchy outside with a gooey centre is.
Every evening and weekend we stayed up until 3am hand labelling tubs and making the dough for the orders that came in through our website.
This was a huge struggle seeing as we had to be up for work at 7am.
It put a real strain on our relationship.
I just kept telling Anja, this is a short-term sacrifice and it will be worth it in the long run.
I worked from home so I would pack up the orders during the day and Anja would make the dough when she got home from work straight after eating.
She would mix the dough and then pass it down the kitchen to me where I would scoop it into tubs.
Our Kitchenaid mixer blew up due to being overused so we bought an industrial mixer to put in the house plus 2 extra fridges to squeeze into our tiny kitchen in our rented house.
Then, as sales grew we had pallets of ingredients and boxes delivered to the house and had entire rooms filled floor to ceiling.
It was certainly a talking point if anyone ever came over.
It soon became clear that we could no longer continue at home so we moved into a food production facility in 2018.
Anja finally quit her job.
I have never seen her so happy and relieved.
We purchased a much bigger mixer and a super cool machine to help us portion the dough.
I used to portion by hand with an ice cream scoop - which had led to problems in my hand.
This was my happy moment.
Covid then hit and things went crazy last year.
We lost our specialist flour supplier.
We couldn't keep up with the sheer number of orders coming in.
At one point we were advertising that there was a 4 week lead time for orders to arrive.
Luckily most people were understanding.
We worked the entire way through all of the lockdowns often doing 16 hour days.
It almost broke us.
After Christmas, we knew we had to get some help as the two of us couldn't cope anymore.
We hired a couple of team members.
Unfortunately, it didn't work out, it just wasn't for them.
To be honest, I can't blame anyone for not wanting to be lifting 25kg sacks of sugar.
However, this led to us finding Beth who has become a key part of our team.
It made life significantly easier as we now have time to share more behind the scenes with you.
This year has certainly been a stark contrast to last year but we are still here.
We have been working on the new branding, packaging and website for over 12 months and cannot wait to share it.
Over the next couple of weeks, you will start to see the new packaging.
In order to be as sustainable as possible and to avoid any waste we will be sending out a mixture of new and old packaging and if you do receive the new packaging...
You will be one of the very first to get a sneak peek into our new look.
I have so much respect for small business owners and the sacrifices they make but also great respect for anyone that wants to work a 9-5.
Being an entrepreneur is made out to be cool, but sometimes it can be super damaging to mental health and it's OK to not want to put yourself through that.
Ultimately, our business wouldn't exist without you.
So from the bottom of my heart...
Thank you for every purchase you have made.
Thank you for every Instagram post you have liked.
Thank you for any email of mine you have read.
It's what has kept me going over the past 5 years.
Founder - Gookie Dough
P.S. Our very special offer ends this Sunday, October 31st. Don't miss out... Shop Now