Q&A with Drew Kohl | Sweet Dough

Sweet Dough

The Sweet Dough promise is sweet indeed: bakery-quality cookie dough, delivered. Freshly baked heavenly cookies without the effort.

Founder Drew Kohl does all the hard work: from sourcing the best local ingredients to developing new recipes and mixing a dough that is just right. So whether baking intimidates you or you don’t have the time, you are guaranteed outstanding, mouth-watering goodness with every batch.

Sweet Dough

An LA native now living in Crown Heights, Drew has been learning the entrepreneur ropes fast since Sweet Dough’s launch last December. She tells us more about what’s unique about her cookies, the lessons she’s learned, and her favorite spots around town.

Drew Kohl

A little trivia about yourself
– Born & raised: Los Angeles, CA
– Cups of coffee a day: 0-1
– Currently reading: The E Myth Revisted: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work And What To Do About It
– Favorite pizza place: Keste on Bleeker, but Bravo Pizza is my favorite NY slice.
– Hidden talent: I’m surprisingly good at technology problem solving. Whenever the phone, TV or computer is malfunctioning I’m the go-to fixer in the apartment!
– If I didn’t do what I do, I would be a… buyer at a specialty food store or something like Food52. I love discovering new products made by small batch producers.

Sweet Dough

What inspired you to start your business?

I’ve always had a passion for cooking and baking. My mom is a pastry chef, so I guess I got that mostly from her, but I’ve always used baking as an outlet. After a long day at school I would come home and test a new recipe out, then bring the creations to my friends the next day, and of course I was leading the bake sales for school events. Going into college I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do with my life, as most students, but I did know that I wanted to be involved in food in some way. Throughout college I had many jobs and internships in different aspects of food businesses, including being a line cook, an operations intern, an events intern, and a personal assistant to a food entrepreneur.

My sophomore year of college I went home to Los Angeles for spring break, and in the car on the way home from the airport my dad spontaneously mentioned that my mom and I should start a cookie dough company. I instantly liked the idea and went home to tell my mom that, yes, this was going to happen. That summer we began selling our cookie dough at local farmers markets. When I went back to school in the fall I decided that would be my path and would take classes to lead up to me restarting the business after gradation in NYC. So after doing all of the backend working getting licenses, permits, a kitchen, and recipe testing I finally launched Sweet Dough in December of last year.

What makes your dough different?

I think that my dough is just a really delicious, high quality product and thats what makes it so different from other cookie doughs on the market. I really focus on using whole, local, organic and sustainable ingredients while most other companies are using cheap, processed ingredients with preservatives. One of my missions with my company is also to collaborate with other local food businesses on flavors so it really is hyperlocal in that sense (ex: Cacao Prieto Chocolate, Andrew’s Honey, Woodward Extracts Co, Toby’s Estate Coffee). I love elevating classic flavors with great ingredients and also coming up with exciting flavor combinations as well.

Sweet Dough

Any exciting plans for the next few months?

Yes! I’m doing some markets this Spring/Summer and I’m going to be testing some new ideas. I usually just sell the cookie dough at markets, but I’ve decided that I should give more options for people to enjoy in the moment, so I’m going to be selling fresh baked cookies and milk, and cookie sandwiches in exciting flavors. I haven’t done an outdoor market yet in NYC so I’m excited, but also a little bit nervous. We’ll see how it goes! I’m also considering selling baked cookies on my website and other fun cookie inspired things, but I have to do a bit more brainstorming. I’m really hoping to hire an intern for this summer too.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?

I’m still so new, but I wish I had known that not everything happens all at once. I was sort of just expecting to graduate and then have a full on business the next day. It was a lot of preparation before actually launching and I got a bit down on myself for not being ready when I had imagined I would. I got my kitchen way before I was ready so that was a costly mistake. Honestly, my launch date wasn’t really planned at all either. I decided that I needed to get on the market with what I had done and just signed up to do holiday markets before I was totally ready. It all fell into place and I’m still fixing and changing things everyday, but I actually really enjoy learning as I go. If I waited until everything was absolutely perfect and knew everything I would probably still be waiting to launch.

What are some of your favorite spots in your neighborhood?

I just moved to Crown Heights last August. There’s lots of fun new restaurants and bars popping up. I really love the restaurant Mayfield. Probably one of the best meals I’ve had in awhile. Berg’n is a pretty fun spot, like an indoor beer garden with rotating food options, and also a really great place to hang out during the day to do some work. A brand new Mexican place just opened up called Milear Taqueria which is a hole in the wall place, and very authentic (or at least by my LA standards lol). I’m kind of obsessed. I went there twice in one week. But I still have so much to try! I always say that I could die in this city and still never eat at all the places I wanted to.

You can find Sweet Dough at various markets around town, or shop directly at sweet-dough.com.