No-Baked Cookie Dough
After an initial career start in the music industry, these entrepreneurs-at-heart turned their favorite cookie dough treat into a booming business.
Nashville since 2012.
We all did it. After cutting open that log of cookie dough and spooning chunks onto a cooking sheet, we’d sneak a few bites of the gooey goodness, knowing there would be a stomachache to deal with later. Thankfully, edible cookie dough is now a much safer indulgence, and one soon-to-be married couple has opened a shop on 28th Avenue North that is taking Nashville by storm, one dough-filled pink waffle cone at a time.
A year ago, Megan Beaven was working an entry-level job in the music industry. It didn’t take long for Megan to find out that her future in business wasn’t going to be on Music Row. “I just wasn’t happy with where my career was going,” she said. “I wanted more control and freedom over what I was doing with my time.” Her fiancée, Jimmy Feeman, also was having reservations about his job. “I slowly realized I did not like what I was doing,” he admitted, “and we both really wanted to own our own business.”
The couple, who got engaged last May, decided to take a chance and test Megan’s cookie dough recipe with an online sales promotion. In April of 2017, they launched the website for No Baked Cookie Dough. To generate local interest, Megan reached out to a bunch of local Nashville social media influencers such as The Nashville Guide & Nashville Eats and offered free cookie dough in exchange for them posting about the product. Megan remembered being cautiously optimistic about the new venture. “I wanted to see if I could actually build something that I was proud of,” she said. Within days of taking the website live, they sold enough cookie dough for Megan to leave her job and run No Baked full time. “I got a couple hundred orders in the first week,” she said, “and that was it! This is what I’m going to do!”
Over the next six months, Megan and Jimmy set up pop-up shops every weekend at local farmer’s markets and store fronts. They advertised on social media and developed a following that enabled the young entrepreneurs to start looking for their first brick & mortar shop. Although they’d had tremendous success thus far, the search for a location proved to be difficult for a couple of 23-year olds with no business experience. “We heard a lot of no’s,” said Feeman. “It’s hard to convince people that things are going to happen that they haven’t seen happen.” Ultimately, Megan and Jimmy found an individual who believed in their vision, and they officially opened in October that year. It was a gamble that paid off quickly. At the grand opening, there was a 2-hour line out the door the entire day.
Their recipe, which is 100% vegan (unless you want chocolate chips added), is a huge part of their success. “Creating the recipe,” explained Megan, “was a lengthy process.” It is egg-free, milk-free, and uses vegan butter and heat-treated flour, a process that separates No Baked from its competitors, and makes it a popular alternative to ice cream and other desserts. To top it off, the dough is served in bright pink waffle cones, which Megan says “go with the theme of the whole brand.”
Megan and Jimmy acknowledge that Nashville has proven to be the ideal city for her fun and trendy brand. “We were lucky to live in Nashville to start our business,” she said. “It’s a good city for food.” Having built a scalable model with their first store, the young business owners are looking to bring No Baked to other cities. Last August, Megan and her parents tested a pop up event in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. They had long lines all day, which gave Beaven encouragement and belief that expansion would be possible. “I think it’s the best cookie there is,” she said. “The more people that try it and the more people that love it, the happier I am with the work that we’ve done.”
With a growing following, No Baked Cookie Dough could be starting the next “ice cream shop.” It’s worth every scoop, and if you find yourself in Nashville, please indulge. Don’t Mind If I Dough.
Click here to SHOP ONLINE for delicious cookie dough at No Baked website.
See a feature video piece on No Baked HERE that aired on Channel 5 News in Nashville.
Follow them @nobaked