The best part of baking is sneaking into the raw cookie dough before it goes into the oven. However, the raw eggs and flour in the dough make it unfit for consumption and may even contain salmonella.
Victor Ong, co-founder of edible cookie dough brand DOHKIE, first discovered the delicious snack through Ben and Jerry’s cookie dough flavored ice cream. He then quickly progressed to eat it straight from the mixing bowl.
Fast forward to 2016, edible cookie dough was popularized in the United States by a few specialty stores that replaced the harmful ingredients in raw cookie dough with ingredients that were safe to eat. Afterwards, he also tried it himself when he traveled to the United States for a graduation trip – and he loved it.
At that time, edible cookie dough stores did not exist in Singapore and he saw an opportunity to spread his love for snacking in the domestic market.
He pitched the idea of starting an edible cookie dough store to his co-founder Marilyn Cher, and the duo quit their jobs in mid-2018 to focus on running DOHKIE full-time.
From a small take-out stand
DOHKIE was founded in June 2018 and opened in October 2018 after months of experimentation, planning and conceptualization.
According to the founders, DOHKIE was launched at a small, humble takeout stand in the basement of a remote mall because they were bootstrapped and relying entirely on their savings.
Before opening the store, the duo took almost a year to come up with recipes that satisfied them. At that time, there wasn’t much advice available, as edible cookie dough was a very new product to the world.
DOHKIE’s edible cookie dough is made safe by eliminating raw flour and eggs commonly found in traditional cookie recipes. It is also handcrafted in-house and is not sourced from outside or imported.
The process was also difficult as the edible cookie dough is an uncooked product and is quite delicate. Every ingredient, proportion and step in the process dramatically changes the final product.
“In the process, we took a very scientific approach to writing our recipes because we didn’t have prior cooking experience,” said Marilyn.
Marilyn was a graphic designer at a design agency, while Victor was an “almost lawyer” who was admitted to the Singapore bar in 2018, but decided to create DOHKIE instead.
A category of desserts in its own right
As the business grew, the two founders reinvested the profits and moved into a much larger, street-level boutique in 2019 in North Bridge Road to give DOHKIE customers a better experience and them. even a larger production facility.
The brand’s popularity is evident – it has been successful in establishing a loyal following on social media, has been profitable since its inception, and has experienced positive year-over-year growth since its inception, despite the challenges posed by the current pandemic.
This is mainly due to the fact that the edible cookie dough in terms of product is in itself unique in terms of taste and texture, which sets it apart from other desserts and snacks.
We can even say that it belongs to a category of desserts in its own right.
Although the founders of DOHKIE do not claim the credit for it because they did not come up with the idea for the edible cookie dough, they were fortunate to have found the opportunity to bring it to the market. interior and remain the only store specializing in edible cookie dough in Singapore today.
However, having a new product and being a pioneer is a double-edged sword. While DOHKIE faces less competition since there are no other similar stores, it is also the brand’s responsibility to create a market for its main product.
Introducing an entirely new product to the market requires intensive consumer education so that consumers understand and embrace the product.
“This is even more true in our local context, where most consumers don’t bake regularly at home, and therefore don’t understand the concept of cookie dough, let alone edible cookie dough,” said Victor.
“As such, we devote a significant amount of resources to educating consumers, ranging from teaching consumers about the product, how to consume it, store it and more.”
Spread the love for edible cookie dough
According to Marilyn, DOHKIE was built around fun and constantly aims to bring joy to people with tasty and safe to eat edible cookie dough.
The first aspect in which we see ourselves as “successful” is our ability to bring joy to our customers, who have come to understand and love our product and our brand over the past 3 years.
It always touches us on a personal level when our customers show / express their happiness when they visit us or when they talk to us. We’ve seen customers jumping for joy when they receive their orders, customers fumbling in their speech and actions because of their enthusiasm – and that’s what keeps us going despite the tough F&B industry!
Victor Ong and Marilyn Cher, co-founders of DOHKIE
Despite operational changes over the years, the team has always strived to stay true to the values, identity and voice of its brand over the past three years, which is what customers brand relate and love them.
The founders also shared with Vulcan Post a few notes they received from their customers.
Even the brand’s cookie dough flavors were created to suit a different customer profile, as the founders understood that food preferences are very subjective and vary widely from person to person.
Despite the popularity of the brand, the founders do not yet have concrete plans to grow.
“Coming from a humble background, we have always taken a more conservative and autonomous approach to operating and growing our business. As such, we prefer to let demand and adoption drive our expansion, as our product is relatively new to the market, ”said Victor and Marilyn.
In the meantime, they are happy every time the brand or product improves someone’s day, and they hope to bring joy to even more people in the time to come.
Featured Image Credit: DOHKIE
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