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Rolling In Cookie Dough with Amy Wong & Lawrance Combs

Podcast Episode #65 —

Rolling In Cookie Dough with Amy Wong & Lawrance Combs

 
 
00:00 /
 
1X

Amy Wong & Lawrance Combs live in Cupertino, CA and sell massive 6 ounce cookies, which they call “pudges”, with their bakery, Batch 22.

Amy and Lawrance started their Instagram-only bakery at the beginning of the pandemic, and they put a lot of strategy into their marketing and launch efforts. And those efforts have paid off in a big way!

They now have an avid following of people who can’t seem to get enough of their incredible cookies, and their business is growing extremely fast.

They recently hosted their own Investor Day to raise money for moving to their own storefront, and they raised over $150k!

In this episode, you’ll learn about their unique and fascinating business journey!

What You’ll Learn

  • Why Amy doesn’t regret perfecting her cookies for many years before selling them
  • Marketing strategies that you can use to grow your business
  • How their pudge cookies compare to Crumbl cookies
  • Why they can charge $6 per cookie without customers batting an eye
  • How they launched their business by giving away a bunch of free cookies
  • Why they strategically didn’t share anything about themselves on social media for the first year
  • The surprising truth about social media giveaways
  • How they optimized their systems to add consistency and drop under a 1% error rate
  • Why niching down can improve your brand recognition
  • How to boost sales by removing popular items from your menu
  • 4 different options for raising money for a business, ranked from best to worst
  • How they ran an Investor Day to raise over $150k of SAFE investments from individuals
  • 2 options for buying a storefront, compared
  • What an exhaustive business plan looks like (see link below)

Resources

Batch 22 Bakery website (Instagram | Yelp | Facebook)

Business Plan & Investor Day info

Giveaway Launch Strategy (example in Episode 1)

BizBen (for buying a storefront)

Levain Bakery in NYC (Amy’s initial cookie inspiration)

California Cottage Food Law

Transcript

This transcript was computer-generated, so there may be errors

David Crabill: Welcome to the Forrager podcast, where I talk with cottage food entrepreneurs, about their strategies for running a food business from home.

I’m David Crabill. And today I’m talking with Amy Wong and Lawrance Combs. They live in Cupertino, California and sell huge six ounce cookies, which they call “pudges” with their bakery, Batch 22.

Now, when the pandemic hit back in 2020, I noticed a ton of what I call Instagram only cottage food businesses crop up. These were stuck at home bakers that posted tempting pictures of baked goods on Instagram and boom, the sales rolled in. And they took the sales through DMS or direct messages on Instagram.

Hence Instagram only businesses. Well, Amy and Lawrance started one of those bakeries at the beginning of the pandemic, but unlike most bakers out there, they put a lot of strategy and intentionality into their marketing and launch efforts. And wow, those efforts have paid off in a big way. They now have an avid following of people who can’t seem to get enough of their incredible cookies and their businesses growing Extremely fast, amazingly enough. They recently hosted their own investor day, which was an extremely successful fundraising event. It’s the first time I’ve heard of a food business doing anything like it. So they literally moved out of their home kitchen just a couple of weeks ago and are currently in a transition process to moving into their own storefront. This year, Amy and Lawrance’s unusual business journey is simply fascinating. You’ll notice that a lot of the things they do are pretty unorthodox, but you know what it is working for them. So with that, let’s jump right into this episode and hear all about it.

Welcome to the show, Amy and Lawrence. Nice to have you here.

[00:01:42] Amy Wong: Thanks for having us.

[00:01:43] Lawrance Combs: Yeah, it’s good to be here.

[00:01:44] David Crabill: So yes, how did this whole journey get started?

[00:01:48] Amy Wong: So a few years ago I was in New York on a business trip and I had one of those famous six ounce cookies from Levain in New York. And since then I came home and I started testing and imitation recipe. So for a few years I’ve been testing that six ounce size. And I had moved on to other flavors besides oatmeal raisin.

And then I started dating Lawrance. And at that time I had just quit my job and I was, eventually going to job hunt, but all I was doing was just baking and testing cookies. And Lawrence was like, well, why don’t you try selling the cookies since you’re not going to job hunt anyways,

[00:02:28] Lawrance Combs: I was kind of annoyed at that point And I was like, look you’re, just baking every day. And like making all these breads and cookies and all this other stuff, let’s just like start a little bakery where, you know, you can just sell online or whatever and just see how it goes.

Like, just spend a couple of hours a day, like doing this. And if you really enjoy it, cause it seems like where you want to spend your time anyway. even when she was working, when we first started dating, she looked for like every excuse, like you know, to like take a long lunch she didn’t really enjoy her marketing job at the time.

[00:02:59] Amy Wong: Yeah. I would bake before, during and after meetings, it was pretty convenient. Cause I was already remote before Covid.

[00:03:06] David Crabill: Well, interesting to hear that you were in a marketing job because. Well looking through your Instagram account that you applied a lot of marketing principles and a lot of people wouldn’t know to apply. So we’ll get into that in a little bit. So you, went to this bakery, you had this cookie, this amazing cookie, and then you experimenting how long were you experimenting with these cookies before you decided to start selling.

[00:03:31] Amy Wong: Probably three or four years and I think it took almost three years to perfect the recipe of that first oatmeal raisin cookie that I wanted to make. And then it took like weeks just to get the bake time where I wanted. And then when we opened the bakery, it took a few more tries to get the big time updated.

[00:03:51] Lawrance Combs: So it’s the same recipe too. Like if you order an oatmeal raisin right now, it’s the same recipe that you were building all those years ago.

[00:04:01] David Crabill: So, when did you actually start selling your cookies?

[00:04:04] Amy Wong: May 2020.

[00:04:07] Lawrance Combs: Like the very end of May, we did like a big advertising scheme right. Where we went on Instagram and we just delivered cookies to people for free. So we like paid for all of these advertising short clips and lots of people signed up receive free cookies and we like drove to their houses and like gave them free cookies, to get the Instagram going or get the, the business to start going.

So I don’t think we actually had any sales until like June, right?

[00:04:34] Amy Wong: Yeah, yeah.

[00:04:35] David Crabill: But this is at the very beginning of the pandemic.

[00:04:38] Lawrance Combs: yeah, yeah. So we had to drive to their house. Yeah.

[00:04:41] David Crabill: Well, I mean, it’s kind of fortuitous, right? Because the pandemic is when people are looking for comfort foods and I know a lot of home bakeries, their business exploded at this time. So it was actually a really good time for you to start this business.

[00:04:54] Lawrance Combs: Personally, I want to believe that it would have worked regardless. Right. obviously I think the pandemic played into our strengths, but I don’t see how, getting cookies with free delivery is like ever going to be a strategy that doesn’t work.

[00:05:09] David Crabill: I actually agree with you. And it’s because I’ve seen how you marketed this. You did this giveaway at the beginning and you actually use a number of strategies throughout the next few months that most people wouldn’t know to use, like, requesting people’s feedback or allowing them to be part of the journey.

And you kept, you know, launching new things. You kept teasing, those launches, you, you use the anticipation. And a lot of people wouldn’t use those marketing levers. So I agree with you that it would’ve worked anyway. It probably helped you kickstart a little bit faster, but yeah, definitely. You, you seem to have a recipe for success, however you, did things in a way that I typically tell people not to do, you know, he spent a ton of time experimenting and perfecting your recipes, which is typically not a great idea because you want to get out, sell sooner and get people’s feedback first. But you know, now that you’ve started the business, do you feel like if you could go back in time, you should have started selling, you know, 2018 or 2019?

[00:06:08] Amy Wong: Definitely not. I think the cookie just evolved like very, very slowly at first because I was not efficient at my testing process back then. So the recipe had all these small changes and then eventually the changes became bigger and bigger. And that’s where I started feeling like, okay, now this is a product that I would love to eat and share with my friends.

And I was just looking for perfection and I mean, nothing is perfect, but I just wanted to satisfy that tinkering itch to make a perfect.

[00:06:44] David Crabill: So you, created this perfect cookie, You tried to replicate the cookie that you had in New York. So you launch with that cookie what else did you launch with when you launched the business?

[00:06:57] Amy Wong: We had a bunch of classic cookies at the time. So like ginger molasses, gourmet chocolate chip, birthday cookies, peanut

[00:07:05] Lawrance Combs: butter, Butter The peanut butter was, it was amazing for some reason, like peanut butter never caught on. But there was a bunch of classics and like smaller cookies and one big six ounce cookie and the six ounce cookie didn’t catch on, like at all in the beginning, like no one wanted to buy it.

We just sold the classics and, Amy made this cookie , it was like just a big basic chocolate chip, six ounce cookie called chocolate pudge. So she made this chocolate Pudge six ounce thing, and tastes a little bit like maple oh, it blew my mind. I was like, it’s the best thing ever.

And after that, like two months later, we were like, okay, we’re only going to sell 6 ounce cookies. it’s just so much better than everything else that’s out there. So it’s more like a obsession. You know, with, how much better six ounce cookies are in terms of like a first experience that people have with them, you know, like it’s just so much richer, there’s just so many advantages to it. I thought that, and it’s so different than what people are used to that. I just thought that it was way more marketable than the classics that we were selling at the time. So we decided to start focusing that direction, even if it would be a major setback at the time we thought it was going to be a major setback, but then Amy was able to produce some flavors that were just like instant successes, rather than like, you know, tinkering and like making a lot of mistakes.

It was just a little bit lucky for us to get through that portion. Right. It should have taken longer I think.

[00:08:24] David Crabill: That’s so fascinating that you started out with a bunch of flavors, just classic cookies and one six ounce cookie, which I know you, you call them pudges. And that didn’t catch on, but now that’s all you do is just sell pudges these days. Where does uh, the name pudge come from?

[00:08:44] Amy Wong: My brother, cause he loves to nickname everything. And he said, this cookie is like so fat, so cute. It’s a Pudge. So it just caught on. But we did have to spend a lot of time like explaining why or what is a Pudge. So after the first year I think we’ll have caught on and people are into it.

[00:09:07] David Crabill: You know, not only did you start during the pandemic when this kind of comfort food thing was taking off, but also I’ve noticed a big trend in the last couple of years, particularly with Crumbl cookie kind of leading the way with this big cookie trend that you’re, you’re kind of on that train too.

So if people are trying to understand what your cookies are like, are they like Crumbl cookies or how are they different?

[00:09:28] Lawrance Combs: Amy and I are kind of like big haters, right? like, we try a bunch of the cookies in the area and stuff. cause we’re big fans of BJ’s right. We love like a Pizookie that kind of thing. So I wouldn’t say like, we’re tough critics, but I feel like a lot of people don’t put in the effort to do like the full on testing process.

Cause I feel like Crumbl, Crumbl is an awesome idea and I, I like saw their website and it looks amazing. Right. And they have like a lot of amazing, cool aesthetic looking cookies, but I feel like they’re just like large cookies with a buttercream frosting. It’s almost like a cookie mash together with a cupcake. So I think that that’s very different than what we do. Amy makes like a really large, like fat hulky six ounce cookie. So the inside has like a completely different texture than what people are used to from a cookie in general. So I feel like it’s like a different experience rather than like a large cookie with buttercream frosting.

Right. And I have tried their cookies and they were They’re okay. But I didn’t see anything amazing about the cookie. I saw it, like amazing about their marketing and their aesthetic. Their aesthetic was like really nice.

[00:10:31] David Crabill: So, what are you putting in? I know it’s a pretty labor-intensive cookies. Like what does that mean? Like what steps are you taking to make this cookie that makes it so complicated?

[00:10:41] Amy Wong: One of the simplest requirements that I have is the use of brown butter, wherever it makes a cookie better. So pumpkin spice, a pecan, cookie chocolate chip oatmeal, raisin. Like these are all flavors that to me personally, if you’re going to produce these flavors they must have brown butter. And this is usually like the farthest that other bakeries will go for their cookies.

But for, for me personally, it’s the starting point. Yeah. And then there’s a lot of fine tuning in the amount of sugar. The amount of spices where applicable. So I think I just hold our cookies to a higher standard in terms of like the sweetness can’t be too much and the flavors have to be like really nailing how we describe it.

And then there are a lot of ingredients that like, say we might candy nuts, or we might toast the nuts or toast oats, stuff like that. So lots of elements have a lot of prep going into them.

[00:11:45] David Crabill: So, I mean, I know these are very complicated to make but also that presents a problem on the business end, right? Like if they take this much time they’re so labor intensive, how do you get the finances to work out when people are typically used to, you know, not paying a lot of money for a cookie? Was that a challenge when you were getting started?

[00:12:07] Amy Wong: Yeah, I think this one came down to marketing. So not only did we have to educate people on what is a Pudge, we also had to educate people on like, what goes into each cookie? Like why they’re labor intensive? what we think about sweetness? We go in depth with describing our flavors. So it took a lot of time to convince people that.

The cookies are worth like $5.50 or $7 even. sometimes it can take months to convert someone to buy. And we notice because sometimes they tell us so it’s a lot of social media and blogging about what goes on while we’re thinking about the cookie and how it came to be.

[00:12:48] Lawrance Combs: But besides that reluctance, we’ve had very little pushback on the price. I don’t even recall a single comment about it being like, this is so expensive or this is, you know, not worth the price. I’ve never heard that comment before.

Like we’ve heard, criticism before, but we haven’t gotten like price pushback on the cookies, which I’m very surprised about.

[00:13:06] David Crabill: So $5.50 to $7 for a single cookie. That’s going to be shocking to most of the podcast listeners, but you do live in Cupertino, which has gotta be one of the most expensive areas in the entire country. So there’s that factor. And then obviously it’s so labor intensive as well.

[00:13:24] Lawrance Combs: I wanted to mention one more thing about that, The cookies are six ounces, so they’re, they’re massive, right. But they’re like $6 a cookie. So it comes out to be about a dollar, an ounce, which is comparable to bakery standard. Right. So if you sell a two ounce cookie, typically they’re $2 or $2.25, if you go to any standard bakery.

So I feel like our pricing is kind of comparable, even though it does feel like a large.

[00:13:51] David Crabill: So I want to get into the pudges a little bit and the flavors and all that. But first I want to just, you know, go through the beginning days of your business, right? You did this giveaway, this freebie where you’re delivering cookies for free. How did that launch go?.

[00:14:06] Amy Wong: Well, my car broke down that day and I think I like forgot the bake time of snicker doodle that day or something. So I had to bake a ton extra to make up for it. I think I had three hours of sleep, which is pretty generous.

[00:14:24] Lawrance Combs: She was so nervous.

[00:14:24] Amy Wong: Yeah. I was really nervous for the entire year.

[00:14:29] Lawrance Combs: I don’t think there was a single week where we didn’t have like some weird baking issue or something that came up that made that week difficult or that delivery difficult, but that first go was like really uncomfortable.

And then when we got through all of it, we had like a lot of positive feedback. And then we grew our Instagram following, which seems like so small now, but it was like from, 10 people that were like friends and family to like 300 random people. So it got up to like 300 after that day

[00:14:57] David Crabill: And you said you paid for ads or something.

[00:15:02] Amy Wong: $40. So it wasn’t,

[00:15:04] Lawrance Combs: I think like all together, it was more than $40, but like altogether we had spent like $300 to start the business minus the food costs. So like without including food.

[00:15:15] David Crabill: Okay. So, and then, and so you got feedback, you got good feedback. So that was at the end of may. I think you gave these cookies away. And so did those giveaways convert into orders?

[00:15:27] Lawrance Combs: Yeah, they did. The major thing was that we offered the free cookies at the expense of people giving a review on their story or post. So that was like the price of the cookie. So it didn’t just convert into orders, but it converted into like more exposure and then more trickling in followers throughout the next couple of weeks.

[00:15:49] David Crabill: Okay, so this is one totally free cookie, right? They had to give you something. And do you know how many people you delivered cookies to?

[00:15:58] Lawrance Combs: That would be like 30, 30 houses.

[00:16:01] David Crabill: And then after that you then started selling your cookies. So how did the launch or sales process go?

[00:16:10] Amy Wong: I think slowly at first for a few months it was pretty slow. It wasn’t like we were getting bombarded or anything, but it just, it felt like I was getting bombarded because the baking was so stressful.

[00:16:24] Lawrance Combs: I remember Amy looking at me one night, it was like our biggest week ever. And it was $300 in sales and Amy was just so overwhelmed and just like almost tears holding back in her eyes.

She was just like, so stressed out, so strung out. And so like, she had her whole family there, like you know, I was there and we’re all just like, everyone’s like getting to work to help her out cause she’s like was so stressed. And I remember talking to her, like in the future, we’re going to laugh about $300 in sales.

One day, it’s going to be like, this is like, we’ll never see that number again, kind of thing. But that was huge to us at the time.

[00:17:00] David Crabill: One thing that I noticed when you’re getting your Instagram account off the ground and this is something else I typically tell people is to share your story, allow people into your world, you know, allowed them to be a part of your journey. And your Instagram account is totally depersonalized. I mean, I think you only posted pictures of cookies for at least a year.

And, there wasn’t anything about you your partnership or anything was that intentional. Or was that just because you didn’t want to put yourself on Instagram?

[00:17:32] Amy Wong: That was a super conscious choice from day one. I’ve seen a lot of startups lead with the founder story, but in our case, I thought our founder story doesn’t add any credibility to the cookies. So we wanted to build a reputation just based on cookie quality and maybe cookie aesthetic. So we went for about a year and a half before we had that kind of reputation. Enough people were asking who we were and what our story was.

And then we decided to do like a nice reveal where I had my friend drop a comic for us and really like show our story the way we wanted to. So we’ve got this really cute comic with some characters. It was a really nice way to welcome ourselves into the world after hiding for such a long time.

[00:18:21] Lawrance Combs: I feel like even then you were a little reserved about it though. We had like a long conversation about whether or not we should put ourselves on the Instagram, even when we had like the story and like, we were getting a lot of requests about it and like, we started to do like some investment pitching.

And Amy was still a little bit concerned about, kind of like privacy matter. But I’m glad that we did get out in front of everybody, I think that it, did help and it did give us some boost.

[00:18:47] David Crabill: Yeah. I mean, you posted that story about yourselves. I feel like pretty recently. So this is well over a year after you were running a thriving business, right?

[00:18:58] Amy Wong: Yeah. It was a year and a half in that we shared our story.

[00:19:01] David Crabill: well, that’s a very interesting, and worked well for you guys, it’s just cool to see something different. So as you were building this business you know, the first few months you said it was kind of slow, but you were also selling traditional cookies at that time, you hadn’t really caught onto the whole Pudge thing.

But you, you start to develop these pudges and you have created amazing number of different flavors of pages at this point. so what, kind of flavors have you created or what was the first after the chocolate chip one? how did that evolve.

[00:19:33] Amy Wong: So Lawrance actually made the third Pudge, which was matcha now it’s matcha white chocolate, but he kinda would follow me around and ask all these questions about ingredients and baking and whatnot.

[00:19:45] Lawrance Combs: What did, what and why this did what?

[00:19:47] Amy Wong: Yeah. So he actually made that third Pudge and I don’t know why, but I kept swearing that matcha pudge wouldn’t work.

And then. You know, he made it and I taught him how to mix, I think, and then we baked it and it was so delicious. So that was the third. And then I think we were into fall 2020. So we made pumpkin spice, which I hate, but I knew it was like a uh, obligatory flavor. So I actually really love it. Now it’s pumpkin spice with cheesecake filling.

And then I, I don’t know if these were like 20, 20, but we have a pecan pudge. We have red velvet, which is really tricky cookie flavor. We have pink lemonade, key lime. I I’m forgetting a

[00:20:37] Lawrance Combs: bunch of flavors, you know, it’s funny is back then, we used to argue all the time about, you know, little things about not only about flavors, but everything about the business, and every time that there was like some major argument that we couldn’t just like, decide on something together, it was just like, all right, fine.

I’m going to do it myself. But then if it works, you’re going to have to eat your words, you know? And if it doesn’t work, then I’ll eat mine, right? And that’s happened so many times with like, in, in some of the things that you’ll do, like in terms of marketing or like some sort of like advertisement that you’re gonna put up.

And you’re like, I’m telling you that it’s, it’s not a good idea. It’s not gonna work. And you’re like, well, whatever, I’m gonna do it anyway. And then, you know, it’s usually like the person that stubborn enough to do it anyway. And then it’s so far we’re like what, like five for five on the like, alright I’m doing it myself then, and then it ends up working

[00:21:22] Amy Wong: Yes, the stubborn one always wins. But yeah, we we’ve made a lot of flavors. We seem to have a special spot for like fruity flavors recently. We do a few Asian flavors here and there and then some classic American stuff with a twist. Like we make a campfire Pudge and it’s like a smore.

[00:21:40] Lawrance Combs: Yeah. And with the area that we’re into, like people are pretty health conscious. So Amy works really, really hard to ensure that the cookies aren’t too sweet.

That’s like kind of, one of the key factors of our, flavor profile is ensuring that there isn’t too much sweetness.

[00:21:56] David Crabill: Yeah, I was going to ask about that. I mean, you’re in a more health conscious area. I’m in the whole bay area, you know, Southern California as well. And you’re not selling health conscious items. Right? I mean, you can talk about lowering the sugar level, but there’s nothing healthy about these.

[00:22:13] Lawrance Combs: it’s not always low sugar. That makes it taste less sweet though. Right. And then, and then changing sugar. What a lot of people don’t think about changing your sugar ratios, changes the texture of the cookie.

if you’re going to make like a, a totally health-conscious no sugar. You’re not going to get the texture of a normal cookie almost no matter what you do. But see what you’re saying, right? Like we’re definitely not like a health conscious brand.

In that way we do like to have like a less sweet taste because that seems to be like, what is definitely in fashion right now in this area. But in terms of like diet restrictions and stuff like that, like, no, we’re catering to the, the 50% of the area that’s like, okay.

With, with the treat or indulging themselves a bit. Yeah.

[00:22:57] Amy Wong: And you definitely shouldn’t eat one pudge one sitting though, maybe just your first one, but after that you should ration or share.

[00:23:04] David Crabill: Well, so I counted up how many pudges you’ve created and it’s about 20 different flavors at this point, over the past couple of years that you’ve created. what have been some of the most popular creations?

[00:23:18] Amy Wong: Red velvet and pumpkin spice are really, really popular. What,

[00:23:23] Lawrance Combs: What’s more popular? It was the most simple one that I thought was going to be like a total flop. It was coal pudge

[00:23:32] Amy Wong: Okay. So coal pudge is just a blackout brownie cookie. It’s the flavor of Oreo, and we did it around Christmas time. So I was like, okay, it looks really black and it’s like a lump of coal, so we’re going to call it a coal Pudge. So that is incredibly beloved. I don’t know because if it’s because people love chocolate or because it’s so funny looking so that red velvet with cheesecake filling and pumpkin spice with cheesecake filling, those are like beloved and in the summer, like strawberries and strawberry lemonade it’s a huge hit.

Yeah. And then, pink lemonade is like really citrusy it tastes like pink lemonade in the summer with strawberries.

[00:24:14] David Crabill: Yeah, some pretty creative flavors which flavors were the hardest to create.

[00:24:20] Amy Wong: Red velvet and pink lemonade. So red velvet has gone through a couple updates. So. Last year was when I first made it. And I had nightmares about this cookie because it’s such a wet cookie.

it has buttermilk and vinegar and natural cocoa. So the two liquid ingredients are with the cocoa. That’s what gives you the Tang of red velvet? Like you can’t get red velvet flavor any other way? I think so using those ingredients, it’s, it’s really hard to get proper cookie texture. I did my best last year, but this year. the update. I’m really proud of it because it’s like true cookie texture, like crisp on the outside chewy on the inside.

And then the other one is pink lemonade. like, I could zest 20 lemons and I still wouldn’t get enough lemon flavor in the cookie. So I also had nightmares about that one. And so that was a breakthrough in just learning about new ingredients.

we ended up using a combination of acids. So that’s how we get the citric flavor in the cookie without overwhelming it with the oils from lemon zest.

[00:25:30] David Crabill: So Amy, are you pretty much all on the cookie side of things? how do you guys split your time with the business?

[00:25:38] Amy Wong: I’m cookies all the time. I’m also the website. And the social media and photography and customer service, I guess.

[00:25:48] Lawrance Combs: Yeah. We, both do customer service. So like I do like catering and sales, I’m currently handling all of the investments on our behalf.

And then, you know, we both run like marketing ideas and stuff together, and then we both work on aesthetics together and, you know, we both work on like inventory and, you know, I just help make sure that the business is running smoothly. And like, if there’s ever like issues with her backend process, then, you know, I’ll, I’ll help her adjust those things.

[00:26:16] Amy Wong: What Lawrance is forgetting to say is he’s like the whole business and finance side, which I don’t have any background in.

[00:26:24] David Crabill: So basically you need.

[00:26:26] Amy Wong: Yeah.

[00:26:27] David Crabill: And did you say you guys are dating?

[00:26:30] Amy Wong: Yes.

[00:26:31] David Crabill: So has that put any stress on the relationship to be running a business together?

[00:26:36] Amy Wong: I think its been good.

[00:26:38] Lawrance Combs: Yeah, I wouldn’t say it helped our relationship, but it definitely hasn’t hurt at all.

[00:26:44] Amy Wong: Yeah, it’s good because we argue about the business a lot and I’m a very passive person, so we kind of over time, I’ve gotten used to just like airing it all out, you know, and not holding stuff in.

[00:26:57] Lawrance Combs: At first you would get really, really upset cause like, you know, if we ever had differing opinions, you know, you take it really, really personally.

So it like helps a little bit with communication. Like making sure that we both say what we want, say what we like, say what we don’t like. So I do enjoy the fact that we argue a bit more because of the business.

[00:27:14] Amy Wong: Yeah, I don’t argue with anyone else so it’s kind of refreshing.

[00:27:17] David Crabill: So I wanted to talk about the sales side of this business. Cause it seems like for a long time, you guys just did Instagram and dms was that your sales process at the beginning?

[00:27:34] Amy Wong: We did. And then maybe five or six months in, I had a friend who coded a one-page website for us. So that helped like I wasn’t. Required to be on the phone all the time, taking orders. People could just do it all on this, like very simple, but like, you know, sophisticated enough website that I no longer had to be that person, Manning the desk.

And then later we upgraded the website and we’re on Shopify now. And it’s not perfect, but it’s like fully automated.

[00:28:08] Lawrance Combs: Yeah. We wouldn’t recommend Shopify for anyone that wanted to start a food business.

[00:28:12] David Crabill: so I noticed that you have also done quite a lot of giveaways on Instagram to boost your business. what were some of your first giveaways and how did those come together?

[00:28:24] Amy Wong: I think the first few, were probably around like Christmas time in our first, maybe second year and a couple of them were partnerships and a few of them were just ones that we did on our own. I had no idea how to do it at first, but you know, we would just give away a box of cookies here and there.

[00:28:42] Lawrance Combs: I think when you look at our analytics the giveaways give very little boost. they’re more like tokens of appreciation. Like we really love to see like, people like interact with us and like the people who have been around for a long time, like we love to give everybody like a special gift for every order that we get at the end of the year, at the end of the season.

So then we had like pens made one year, but one year we did key chains. So we, we always do that and we, eat the cost of that, but I haven’t actually seen too much gain from a lot of the Instagram giveaways. I know a lot of businesses do them like more often than we do. I wouldn’t say we don’t do them a lot.

We do them quite a bit in the holiday season, but they just don’t offer the boost that you think they would

[00:29:23] Amy Wong: in the first year we did see like, you know, plus 200 followers, but the second year we got like, you know, plus 30 followers. So, I mean, now I just liked doing seven days of giveaways.

And the last day of the giveaway is, you know, that custom batch 22 gift. yeah, now we just do it because we think it’s festive.

[00:29:45] Lawrance Combs: Uh, We like it. I love the holiday season. Me too.

[00:29:49] David Crabill: So, and with you doing all these DMS that’s obviously a very manual way of taking orders and then where people just come in and picking them up, or were you still delivering these in your car after, you know, you started selling.

[00:30:04] Amy Wong: We were still doing deliveries and we still offer deliveries today. And we were doing the deliveries ourselves for a half a year up to a year. And during one of the holiday seasons, we realized I couldn’t bake and deliver. So I was too tired. So we started to outsource that. So occasionally we do still do the deliveries ourselves, but we have drivers for that now.

And then we were offering pickups out of my family home. The past two years, and now we’re partnered with a Boba shop to offer those pickups.

[00:30:39] David Crabill: So, I mean, he came into the holiday season in 2020. I imagine that was a pretty busy time.

[00:30:46] Lawrance Combs: it was rough. Yeah. It was like your war memories.

[00:30:49] Amy Wong: Oh God. I blocked this out we had baked, you know, so many cookies out of the home oven at that point, and I was baking six or seven hours, you know, six to like 10 or 12 cookies at a time in the home oven. So

[00:31:05] Lawrance Combs: I remember we did one week that was like over a thousand dollars in sales. and you were working like, 12 hours a day for like six days straight.

[00:31:16] Amy Wong: Yeah. Cause we had like a, I don’t know if we even had a eight quart mixer at that point we had like my dinky little five quart mixer that my brother got me

[00:31:26] Lawrance Combs: we’re just all in the back, putting saran wrap over dough balls and stuff.

And it was just like, yeah, exactly. As, as home bakery as it gets at that point. It wasn’t until after that year that we, decided that it was time to go. Yeah, exactly. It was time. It was time to grow. So that’s where we, agreed upon getting a commercial oven and starting to get commercial mixers and like just putting them in the house anyway.

[00:31:49] David Crabill: I did see, I saw a post were you said you had a mixer issue. He share that.

[00:31:56] Amy Wong: So on that same day, I sprained my ankle and then the mixer stopped working. And an angel of a friend was like, Hey, I have a 10 quart mixer. Do you want to borrow it? I was like, yes, of course.

But there were lots of customers who reached out and offered up their five or six quart KitchenAid mixers.

And I was like, Wow, this is bad news, but this is also like so nice, like so many offers of KitchenAid mixers

[00:32:28] Lawrance Combs: and the supply chain issues had just like came in because we had ordered a 20 quart mixer, like three months before that, that makes her broke down. now we know we wouldn’t have seen it for like another nine months, but we, at the time we were like, oh, it’s going to come in any day. Now we just got to hold out a little longer.

[00:32:47] David Crabill: So it took nine months to get that mixer.

[00:32:49] Lawrance Combs: Oh, seven it’s like seven months. Yeah. But it feels like it’s, it felt like a year. Yeah. It felt like a year and a half.

[00:32:56] David Crabill: So I know that the first, you know, the holiday season in 2020 was crazy busy. You take a break after that in January to, rest. And then, what happened in 2021? How did your business progress in that?

[00:33:12] Lawrance Combs: I think that 2021 is where we, we finally hit our stride. So like, we, we currently use the same business model that we were using in 2021, where we have like our fall, our summer, our spring lineups that we roll out.

And then we have like our advertising for those of our teasers that we put out for those lineups that are coming up to get people excited about season changes, you know, about little events that we’re putting out. So that was like the first time I felt like, oh, the business is running in a very.

Almost corporate manner, right. Where things seemed really smooth. And there was a lot of problems that came up in 2021, but that was the first time that I saw that, you know, there’s a lot of structure to the business that we had. And minus all of the, you know, the random mistakes that happened and stuff like that I felt like there was a lot of potential.

It was like a very consistent growth line, but you almost never see,

[00:34:04] Amy Wong: I keep forgetting that there was a time when we weren’t consistent.

So that was the year where I took the time to nail the process of making dough because a million things can go wrong. like every single stage from the temperature of the eggs and the butter to each mixing stage to the baking to the rotation time. So that was the year we figured that out.

And then there’s a lot of backend tech stuff. the Shopify site took us like six weeks. So like, you know, a 1% or less error rate doesn’t just magically happen. It’s because like, you know, my sister helps me do some weird stuff in Python so that our backend shoots out some automated labels.

So it’s a little bit manual right now, but you know, it definitely works. And our error rate went down like dramatically. And so we almost don’t see any mistakes most weeks. So it’s pretty nice. Cause in food business, like mistakes happen all the time and you know, we just want to keep the customers happy.

[00:35:06] David Crabill: I’m sure. One thing has made it a more simple and less error prone system is that you’re just doing pudges now, right? Like how has that evolved to the point of you just simplifying it down one to one type of product?

[00:35:21] Amy Wong: Yeah, for the first year we had to educate people on like what a pudge is and why you should buy it. So the sales have shifted dramatically from. More of the classics and shortbread, which people are used to to mostly pudges and then a couple of classics. And just because it’s something to get people in the door, if, they feel really uncomfortable with like a huge cookie.

So over time, like honestly, the pudges are the easiest to bake, like because of the size they’re impossible to over bake really. Now my, my wiggle time for baking error is about like 10 seconds. So there’s like almost no time when I would over bake the cookies, unless I like fell asleep or some freak accident happened.

[00:36:04] Lawrance Combs: It’s a, it’s a branding. Trade-off too, right. Cause we when we stop making shortbread, like you do lose a little bit in the sales, right. Because the people that normally buy shortbread, albeit not that many people. you do end up like losing those like consistent sales that you would have gotten, but what batch 22 looks like now, it’s now synonymous with pudge.

Right. that could be like a major advantage. It makes it a lot easier for people to digest. what batch 22.

[00:36:30] David Crabill: I think one of the best things about your business is that, you know, you constantly have new flavors coming in and you constantly have popular flavors going out.

So like when you, and then now you have a new flavor coming in, but you also will tease that and, you know, build the anticipation. So like when you, when you start to build anticipation for a new flavor and then finally launch it, you know, what’s the reception like with your audience

[00:36:56] Lawrance Combs: So almost regardless of what the flavor is, when we put out a new flavor, it becomes our top seller But that doesn’t mean that that trend will continue sometimes. Like some cookies are superior to others. Like when we released like matcha white chocolate ganache, you know, it had like big sales for one week and then it just plummeted into this, into the floor.

Right. So, but I like that what you had mentioned about like, we have like popular flavors going out because when we release a new flavor, the reception will be really, really high. But that can’t really continue. That’s a, that’s not sustainable. But then when we say that, okay, this is the last week of X flavor or a pumpkin spice or whatever, then the sales shoot back up again for that same flavor.

So while it’s not sustainable to like, just like crush sales throughout every. It does give us boost of sales, like consistently throughout the year. Cause we also time it, so that flavors go in and out apart from each other, even if they’re in the same season. So like one flavor might go in at the beginning of spring, but one flavor might come in.

That’s also a spring flavor will come in at the end of spring. And so that just ensures that there’s less volatility for our business.

[00:38:11] David Crabill: Was that marketing strategy, always part of the plan or is that something you just stumbled upon along the way?

[00:38:17] Lawrance Combs: it was not necessarily part of the plan in the very beginning because we were just like turning our flavors. But in 2021, it was already part of the plan but at the end of 2020, when Amy was just like creating tons of new flavors, trying to come out with stuff, it was more like, just get it out when you can.

Right. Because like we’re dying for a new flavor now.

[00:38:36] Amy Wong: It’s stressful because I can spend five weeks on something or more and be like, no, this is not ready. And it can’t be released like apple pie pudge has never seen the light of day because it was just never good enough.

[00:38:47] David Crabill: Did you ever have a flavor that just totally failed?

[00:38:51] Amy Wong: Yeah Oh, tiramisu was complete. It was so gross.

[00:38:56] Lawrance Combs: We have a new for tiramisu though. Ith. It could see the light of day, one day.

But the white chocolate ganache, like it might’ve seen the light of day, but it never should have been because like when you bake them, they would like be oozing out. It was like almost explode. Like I don’t know how I got past like the first round of testing

[00:39:14] David Crabill: so as you got towards the end of 2021, I saw that you had some kind of a shut down emergency shut down in December.

[00:39:26] Amy Wong: Yeah, it was okay. So it was right after the eater article and the phone wouldn’t stop ringing and then we got COVID.

I was like dying to work because, you know, you’ve got like 16 of your best weeks of the year.

And like, as horrible as like 12 or 16 hour days are like, you know, I still want to work. So anyways, we couldn’t work for like two weeks and it was right after we had got this massive influx of followers and like new customers and stuff. Postponed everyone’s orders. It was not the end of the world,

[00:39:59] David Crabill: So you were featured in eater. Was there like a massive boost after that feature?

[00:40:04] Amy Wong: Yes. So I used to think that PR was just like some, some ploy for like, look good or put a logo on your website or whatever turns out PR actually works. And if you do right by the customers, they stick around. So ever since then, like the sales have just like skyrocketed.

[00:40:24] David Crabill: And then I saw you have this partnership with discover pastel.

[00:40:29] Amy Wong: Yeah. So they’re like a delivery service and they bring treats to the entire Bay Area. So the grab treats from tons of bakeries and like restaurants from SF and sometimes east bay and us in south bay, and then they’ll deliver everywhere and they just have like all these pickup spots

[00:40:50] Lawrance Combs: Yeah. They’re currently handling like all of our orders that are coming from San Francisco. and we’ve gotten like quite a, consistent revenue base from them.

But also we like that we’re testing the San Francisco market because we hope to open a second location.

[00:41:07] David Crabill: So as your business has moved forward, I know that you’ve had your eyes on opening up a storefront. And I just couldn’t believe that you had a whole investor day and most people who would want to raise money for the next transition in their business would, you know, look to Kickstarter or some kind of crowdfunding thing or take out a business loan.

So can you explain a little bit about what you did with trying to raise money for this next step?

[00:41:37] Lawrance Combs: Like all decisions that go through the, business Amy and I sat down and we made a priority list of like what we were looking for, how much money we would need. And like, we did some studying on like some storefront locations, what the costs were.

Once we figured out those things, it was like, okay, what are the options? So we came up with like four different options. We had a bank loan, which was one of them we had um, yeah, Kickstarter. We had accredited investing through like restauranteurs, which would be like people that work in the restaurant business that normally like partner with, bakeries or restaurants to help them open.

But, you know, you’re giving up. large percent of equity to pull that off. And then the last one was like, okay, well, why don’t we test our customer base first to see who would like to, you know, like partner up with us and like give out like an offer to the people that are already like supporting us.

And this could help, like, not only, you know, help with our loyalty and help with like engaging with our community and stuff, but it could be like, potentially we could just raise the money that way. And then we could, if it works, if it’s successful, then we will, we won’t be in debt at all.

We’ll give up, you know, the minimum requirement of equity that we can and we’ll have the storefront. So we were like, okay, so let’s, let’s rank them In which are the base case scenario, the worst case scenario, and then we’ll go down the list. Cause no matter what we’re going to figure out how we’re going to get the money.

the number one was being like the investor day. And then number two would be like accredited investing. And number three would be Kickstarter. And number four would be would be the bank loan, right? The bank loan was going to be like the, all right, let’s put up this house for collateral it’s our last chance.

Let’s take this, you know, this huge like high interest rate on loan. So the investor day ended up being like, okay, our first priority. And we did not expect it to get the reception that it did. We also didn’t expect it to work. We just wanted to like test the waters and see what could do from it.

[00:43:29] David Crabill: how did you get the word out about this investor?

[00:43:34] Lawrance Combs: we used our Instagram contacts, but then mainly we use like our personal context as well. Like, because we had made relationships with like, everyone would come across. Like we came across like all the people from Discover Pastel. You know, like Amy’s made a lot of bakery, friends along the way.

And so we were able to create a like miniature network. That was a lot stronger than we had anticipated,

[00:43:56] Amy Wong: like, it was just so fun to test the power of the community, because I know for me, like I’ve made a lot of, I call them customer friends because, you know, I ended up in long chats with them on our Instagram DMS, but, you know, having chats with someone isn’t the same as them forking over their hard-earned money.

So a lot of it is just, us putting ourselves out there and sharing our cookie philosophies and all the hard work we put into the cookies and just saying that message over and over again, because if I learned anything in marketing, it’s that, the person and putting out the message gets way more tired of the message before the customer begins to understand what you’re saying.

So we basically put the same message out there, like a million times in slightly different ways. So I think that’s just paid off and. you know, I think people trust us.

[00:44:47] David Crabill: So how did this investor day work? Cause typically like an investor day for startups, you’re going to have a very highly curated audience of people that have to be at a certain threshold of investor in order to even get in, like, was it, that’s something that just anybody could come to and, put down whatever they wanted to help support.

[00:45:06] Lawrance Combs: yeah, anyone was available make it was invited it was all catered. There was like free cookies that everyone could try. And we had like a presentation that we went through. It was about what, 20 minutes long. So we did like our full presentation, like when, when everyone was there and like mingled with everybody.

then we gave the details on the investment. it was a safe investment that we were offering at the event. So this is like a simple agreement for future equity.

So we’re not giving up any equity at this point, people that paid in for a safe are buying in for the promise of the future equity of the company, because there was no evaluation given at this investor meeting. So we didn’t have a prepared valuation. So we offered them the ability to buy in three years.

Either at a future financing event or at a what’s classified in the agreement as a liquidity event. And so we explained how it worked and you know, how it ran.

And there was like two different tiers that you could go into. So there was like a lower tier and a higher tier. The lower tier was like more for unaccredited investors, which we could only take on so many there’s, you know, there’s a limit to how many unaccredited investors you can do in an investment round.

At this point, we had already had like detailed conversations with our, with one of our lawyers who was running this investment round for us. So we, we knew the limitations of like what was possible and what wasn’t possible based on, you know, like what we were offering. And, you know, we had a second tier that was for like more geared towards accredited. And we got us a mix of both, right? Like there were people that we wanted to invest like a thousand dollars and then there were people that wanted to invest like $50,000.

Right. So it was, you know, it was a very successful event and we don’t need to go through any of the other investment options anymore. Cause we we’ve raised enough money. it was kind of humbling, right.

It was an incredible experience. And we’re currently working on the filing of our investments at this point. So, we just need to make sure that we have all our paperwork and stuff. And, our lawyers handling that on our behalf.

[00:47:03] David Crabill: Yeah. I mean, this, it kind of sounds pretty complicated, probably over a lot of people’s heads, right? Like, I mean, you’re talking about how much equity you can give up or what, you know, what the legalities are for taking on investor money. Were you knowledgeable about investing stuff before this,

[00:47:19] Lawrance Combs: I thought I was but in this case, when we’re talking about like, starting up a new company, like I was not familiar with any of it all because like, I’m not an accredited investor myself.

So I had never been on a new, these like accredited exchanges where they’re like buying new companies or investing in new companies. And like, they’re all familiar with the agreements and like all of the, nuance of it. you know, it was a big learning curve for me, for sure.

There was a lot, a lot of studying that went into it.

[00:47:45] David Crabill: Yeah, no, it’s fascinating. I mean, it’s just a totally different way of raising money. I’ve never heard of anybody with the cottage food business trying to raise money like this and, and obviously it was super successful for you guys. now what paperwork and everything you have the money to work with. So I guess now you’re working on transitioning out of your home and into a commercial space.

[00:48:08] Lawrance Combs: Uh, The commercial space is pretty temporary. It’s only because we’re seeing such a high influx of, volume all of a sudden, like, I feel like after investor day, We’ve been getting like a large influx of sales. And so, you know, we were like, okay, we want something in the meantime that we can work with where we can hire more people where we can, have more ovens to work with more mixers to work with But we’re going to be moving into a storefront hopefully end of fall or winter. Cause we’re looking to buy the assets of a potentially like either failed business or somebody who no longer wants their business or, you know, somebody who is hopefully working in a cafe or bakery space so we can take over.

[00:48:46] Amy Wong: The commercial kitchen rentals are not like as glamorous as you think there is not as much space as you’d like ever. And of course it’s a shared kitchen, so it’s not like the place we want to stay at for a very long but moving into the kitchen and getting the permitting done that doesn’t take very long. So thankfully it’s pretty easy.

[00:49:06] David Crabill: I know that you’re in a very high cost of living area. I was just curious, what is the cost of your commercial kitchen?

[00:49:15] Lawrance Combs: Sure, sure. Okay. So like, I don’t know about hourly because they have, like, what is it using? The sink is like X amount hourly using this is X amount hourly using the storage facility or whatever.

All of it’s like has different hourly rates and stuff. So it was very confusing when we did all the math, it came out to like 2200. But that’s because we would be using so much of their stuff all of the time. So like we’re not paying that right now. but it’s because we had to work out a like and negotiate with the owner of the kitchen.

wouldn’t imagine people paying that much per month for a shared space.

[00:49:48] David Crabill: So you’re looking at getting a storefront. What is the process been like for trying to find a space?

[00:49:57] Lawrance Combs: So we use a site called BizBen where we try to find places that are you know, selling their assets. There’s a few ways that we can go about it. There’s the asset sale, which is like the cleanest and the fastest way, which is what we’re hoping for.

that would be like if a failing coffee shop or a shop that will like, they just don’t want to continue is no longer interested in staying in their place. They’re like, okay, we’ll give you all of the stuff inside for like $70,000. And then you can renegotiate the lease or something like that. Right. So that that’s like the ideal scenario.

If that doesn’t end up working out, then we might have to like rent out like a commercial. Where we might have to do a partial build-out, which can be very expensive, although there’s an advantage to it because a partial build-out means that we’re working with an architect who designs it the way that we want.

There’s an aesthetic appearance, and it helps with some of the branding that batch 22 can show off. Right. So there’s some advantages to it, but it’s much, much more expensive and it takes a longer amount of time you know, like this first store that we’re opening is more, we, we consider it more to be like our starter store.

kind of like the cookie printing factory rather than being, the batch 22 ideal, like our, our dream store. Yeah, exactly. So it’s not quite our dream story yet. We know what it is. And we plan on like, just having our own space to print out cookies and then using, you know, the leverage from that increase in revenue, we should be able to open like an ideal store either in the area or in like San Francisco or somewhere where, we feel like we could really take off somewhere where the market has already been pretested.

[00:51:27] David Crabill: So this commercial kitchen that you’re trying to either build or buy or whatever coming up in the fall as that going to be a storefront at all, or is it just going to be a place for, you know, people to pre-order and you make your items and people pick up or you deliver from there?

[00:51:44] Lawrance Combs: No, it will absolutely be a storefront. People will be able to walk in and we have all of the logistics, like sorted out, like employees like their shifts schedules, like, everything is, is sorted out to be like a very like a functioning storefront.

we even have our, like, people can like go through and check out our business plan online it’s been made public. So you can like you know, take a look at that and see like where are we planning on focusing our resources in terms of sales, in terms of marketing, et cetera, et cetera, like we have a lot of ideas that have already been putting into place.

I feel like our business plan is very, detailed. It’s pretty exhaustive.

[00:52:18] David Crabill: Yeah. it sounds like you have big ambitions. Amy, does it feel like overwhelming as you keep jumping up and expanding?

[00:52:26] Amy Wong: Yes, yes. It absolutely does. I don’t say anything during the, any of the questions about investment, because it totally goes over my head. Like Lawrance has to explain, like, I’m five, because I don’t, I don’t understand a lot of it. So when, he says it in layman’s terms, I kind of get it, but like, I don’t understand all of the nuances, so it is a lot for me, but thankfully I just have to focus on like the cookies and keeping quality consistent as we transition.

[00:52:55] David Crabill: when you started this business and you’d obviously done a ton of experimentation, Amy, and then, you know, you decided to start the business, you came up with a marketing scheme, but you I’m sure you had, you know, a vision for what the future would look like. what was that vision like compared to what it is now?

[00:53:13] Amy Wong: I’m pretty risk averse, so I’m not sure how much of a vision I had. I think I figured I was just going to do this for like a few weeks maybe, and, you know, a few months went by and we had a few weeks that were slower or whatever, but over time, you know, things picked up and I don’t think I ever thought about quitting, but you know, during the hard seasons, that’s when I was like, oh, okay.

Yeah. I still really liked doing this even though I’m on my feet for like 16 hours.

now I think. I don’t know, for a while I’ve been committed to the future of the pudges and stuff. So now I’d like to see through tons of new types of pudges I want to do tons of new flavors that people haven’t thought of. not just like cookie flavors, but things that were supposed to be cake or a drink and turn those into punch flavors and like, lots of fun stuff.

[00:54:05] David Crabill: Amy. What drives you in this business? I mean, I know you like tinkering with recipes, but it’s one thing to experiment with perfecting a recipe and another thing to mass produce these cookies. Like what keeps you going? Why are you so passionate about.

[00:54:23] Amy Wong: I think if at the end of the day, it’s, you know, it’s people product or process, and for me, it’s product. still to this day, like my favorite thing to do is theorize about new flavors and, tinker.

I don’t care much for the mass production aspect. Like I’d rather have people do it and I want to be in the kitchen, like making a single batch of something new and seeing how that goes. And I want to be like asking people for feedback and that kind of thing excites me a lot still.

[00:54:52] David Crabill: What about you? Lawrence? What keeps you going?

[00:54:55] Lawrance Combs: So when it comes to this bakery, you know, this is Amy’s baby. You know, I give her like all of the support that she needed. So this isn’t really a passion of mine. This isn’t something that, I am like pursuing to be like my end career. Right. Like I work as a gymnastics trainer and like, I have young students that, you know, have big dreams and I want to support them. And uh, this, bakery is like my way of supporting Amy and like helping her in something that she loves and like giving her, the ability to like work in a way that she’s like, feels like is fulfilling.

And so like, to me, that’s enough, right? I can spend the extra, 20, 30 hours a week knowing that like the hours are going and being well spent. And that’s good enough for me, but it’s definitely not something that I’m going to, do until I retire kind of thing. Right?

[00:55:43] David Crabill: So you talked about how you’re, you’re going to do this transition store, and then you have your vision for what you’d like this to be in the future. So what’s your ultimate vision where you wanted to take this?

[00:55:56] Lawrance Combs: there’s no ultimate vision for the business at this point, because I’m not the kind of person that, looks past five years in the future. I just think that there’s so many different variables that it makes almost no sense to be like, okay, this is where things are going to end up five years from now. So within the next three years, I can tell you what we’re doing, We’re going to open this first starter shop, And then from the revenue increases from that starter shop, we should have the leverage to open a second store. Hopefully one that we do a build out in, in San Francisco, from there, we would either do a second round of funding or like to either open that store or a second round of funding to open a third store in between those two shops.

So we should have three stores in the nearby area. And batch 22 becomes like a community name, That would be like the three-year plan from the five-year plan. We decide whether or not we want to branch out to like Sacramento or to LA One of those areas where we feel like batch 22 could really thrive as a business. But expanding into those areas would mean that we would need GMs like people to take over the businesses that we’ve already started or the shops that we’ve already started in order for us to branch out to a new territory.

And would that mean we have to move to that territory as well. We would have to move to Sacramento for a few years to get this done or move to orange county for a few years to get this done. So, that’s kind of like the loose plan for five years, but then after that, it’s like, do we franchise, do we do this?

Like, are we going to go into grocery stores? You know, are we going to be the west coast Levain competitor? there’s a lot of different continuances and to, pick one that this is definitely what’s going to happen. I can tell you almost certainly, that’s probably not going to happen.

[00:57:34] David Crabill: Amy, would you agree with all of that? I mean, what would you like to see in the future? Come of this?

[00:57:41] Amy Wong: I’ve always been kind of a small dreamer, so I always just wanted to tinker with the cookies, whatever. It’s because of Lawrence, that we’re doing any of this and now we have like a dream to open a storefront. All I want to do is to continue growing the Pudge brand and just to keep growing myself personally and professionally, I just don’t really care which way that that happens.

think we’re setting ourselves up for at least like five years of really hard work.

And after that, I’m not sure, like, will I still want to be slaving away in a kitchen or will I have a big enough team and like lots of good managers that can help us manage our brand? I’m not sure.

[00:58:23] David Crabill: Fair enough. Well, it’s cool to see where you’ve come in, just a couple of short years and I’m looking forward to seeing where your business is going to go in the future. So if people would like to learn more about your business, where they can, they find you, or how can they reach out?

[00:58:35] Amy Wong: They can find us on Instagram @batch22bakery. And then we also have a website which is batch22bakery.com.

[00:58:43] David Crabill: Great. Well, Thank you guys so much for coming on the show and sharing with us today,

[00:58:48] Lawrance Combs: Thank you for having us.

[00:58:53] David Crabill: That wraps up another episode of the Forrager podcast. Now what’s interesting Amy and Lawrence’s start-up story actually reminds me of my own. They gave away a bunch of cookies to kickoff their business.

And if you can recall way back to podcast episode number one, I shared how I did something very similar for my fudge business. You can also go to giveawaylaunch.com to learn more about this business launch strategy.

Now for more information about this episode, go to forrager.com/podcast/ 65 And I have to ask, are you enjoying this podcast? And if so, have you left me a review? If not, please head over to apple podcast right now and leave me a podcast review. A review is truly the best way to support this show and will help others find it as well.

And finally, if you’re thinking about selling your own homemade food, check out my free mini course, where I walk you through the steps you need to take to get a cottage food business off the ground to get the course, go to cottagefoodcourse.com.

Thanks for listening. And I’ll see you in the next episode.

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