“Pantry dropping good” boasts the motto of Dozen’s Cookies, a gourmet cookie company founded by Business seniors Ethan and Jared Forman, who are twins. The duo is committed to selling high-quality cookies at an affordable price for students.
According to Jared Forman, the brothers had enough credits to finish their degrees last fall, so they decided to operate for profit on campus. The brothers bake and deliver orders from their home in Ann Arbor, focusing on e-commerce sales until they graduate and move back home to Los Angeles, where they wish to open a brick-and-mortar shop.
“Now, having a large amount of time, we can professionally operate our business and ultimately create a sense of reliability that our customers need,” Jared Forman said. “It’s just been a good opportunity. We now have the ability to fully dedicate our time to opening a brick-and-mortar shop back in Los Angeles, but at the same time to start to grow and build a brand specifically through e-commerce.”
After creating the idea in high school, the business developed as a charitable club named Cookies 4 Care at the University of Michigan in 2013.
“We were able to manifest that business in the form of a club,” Jared Forman said. “And that club became Cookies 4 Care, which was one of the largest active clubs at the University of Michigan in my freshman year.”
After an order is placed online, Jared Forman said they normally have the cookies baked and delivered locally in less than one hour. The cookies have a shelf life of one to two weeks when kept in their cellophane wrapping.
“Essentially we are working on distributing a high-quality product and a very affordable price,” he said. “The greatest thing about baked products, in terms of margins, (is that) there can be a mutually beneficial relationship for both parties. We feel more comfortable distributing for a cheaper price.”
Business senior Allison Diener has ordered from the service twice and said the responsiveness and price point were favorable, especially compared to local competition.
“The cookies are very gourmet and extremely affordable, especially compared to Insomnia (Cookies)” Diener said. “They will come deliver them to you or meet you wherever you want.”
Jared Forman said he is trying to make his company as personable as possible. As head of marketing, he wishes to create a platform that customers find both easy and fun to use. Jared said he takes pride in his company and making deliveries to his customers.
“The attitude I’m hoping to personify through our cookie account is something that’s very fun and something very playful,” Jared Forman said. “Maybe get a laugh in their day or a smile. We truly are building a brand from scratch. I enjoy delivering the cookies personally.”
Though Ethan Forman began as head baker for the business, the brothers now split their time baking and delivering. Ethan also works on website development and customer relation management, helping to drive every order that gets processed. Jared said being brothers has only been beneficial to business.
“The great thing about working with your twin brother is that you pretty much know each other for the past 22 years,” Jared Forman said. “So in terms of controversy or conflict, that's limited.”
The biggest challenge they face is capturing the support of the brand with unfamiliar customers, said Jared Forman.
“Our retention rate for customers has been extremely positive,” Jared Forman said. “But much like starting a new business, the largest feat can literally be getting them into your door or, in our case, placing an order.”
Jared Forman said Dozen’s is open to taking cookie flavor requests from students, and their most popular cookies have been the red velvet, white chocolate chip and chocolate chip.
“We specifically focus on cookies,” Jared Forman said. “Whatever you think, we can bake. We do have a variety of recipes. We’re ultimately there for our customers. We want our customers to give us their opinion. In the five years that we’ve been baking and perfecting this recipe, it truly is like a science. In terms of how we got this recipe, it was just through years of trial and error from customer feedback.”
Engineering senior Aaron Berro said he has been eating the cookies for three years. In addition to the fast service, Berro said the price plays a big role in his consistent business.
“They literally sell a dozen cookies for six dollars,” Berro said. “Also, every time I’ve ordered the cookies are ready pretty much instantly.”
Business senior Adam Weiss said, though not many people know about Dozen’s yet, he likes that they make their cookies from scratch and offer a lot of variety.
“As someone with a sweet tooth, it is usually not too hard to please me,” Weiss said. “But with that being said, it's been hard to find a fresh, local cookie that isn't some premade mix.”
Jared Forman said Dozen’s sells cookies at Scorekeepers Bar and Grille on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and will also have pop-up shops on campus during the semester, donating all their proceeds to the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.
“It’s always great to see Dozen’s Cookies being sold at Skeeps,” Berro added.
Once back in California, the brothers hope to open a traditional brick-and-mortar shop in Los Angeles. Until then, though, Jared Forman said they are excited to keep serving students this semester.
“The best part is actually doing it,” Jared Forman said. “I think one of the most fulfilling things for both of us is just constantly having that support and having the time and the resources to do something with 100 percent integrity to the best of your capabilities and to see those results.”