It has been an exciting couple of weeks for The Cookie School. About this time last year I began dreaming of creating a signature flavor and last week, it totally happened. It has been frustrating, exhausting and fun! We jumped through about a million hoops, hired some really smart people to advise us, blended a half million flavor cocktails, researched and marketed our product. The formula we landed on was immediately approved by the FDA and the label was finally given the green light by the Georgia Department of Agriculture. (Thanks Cory for the great design!) Our commercial kitchen site was inspected and approved. We are proud to be part of The Georgia Grown network. The Cookie Nip had a great first weekend at The Strawberry Festival, the ACE Marketplace and at Cookie Schools everywhere. We have had tremendous feedback from the people who requested samples that we mailed to all fifty states. It is now for sale on the online store and from any Cookie School instructor. In the next couple of weeks it will be available on Amazon.
My business-minded, number-crunching, risk-manager husband consistently hounded, I mean advised me, about all of the risks involved in creating a new food product and bringing it to market. Yes, I knew it was a risk but I also knew that if I never tried it, I would never know if I could do it. I am now at the destination where I am thankful that I embarked on the journey! For the record, he is fine with it, too!
One of the things I learned on this journey is about packaging. Obviously the label was the hardest hurdle to overcome but it is also an expensive little joker. For heaven's sake, it is a STICKER. You can't just write 8 fl. oz on the side of the bottle with a Sharpie (though that solution appeals to me on so many levels). We still have to sell about 956 more bottles before we can afford to buy a machine to stick all those labels on the bottles so we are doing it by hand. If your label happens to be a little crooked and it bothers you, buy more because we want that machine more than you do. Then there is a cap for every bottle. And a shrink band. And anti-tampering caps and seals. We have bottled two lots so far and we are already trying to make a prettier product. We are currently using a high density translucent bottle (mostly because we already bought them and we are not about to waste them!) But then I saw this clear, polyethylene terephthalate bullet bottle which makes our product look pretty and now I want new bottles. I think. I don't know. What do you think? Clear or translucent? Does it look like shampoo or does it still look like flavoring?
In addition to launching the best butter sweet blend of vanilla bean and salted caramel flavoring on the market, The Cookie School continues to engage in sharing a passion for baking and frosting cookies week after week. Our Cookie School team now has 37 legitimate instructors from Arkansas, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida and a long line of people still trying to qualify for a PhD. If you have been unable to get in a class, there are a number of locations and instructors from which to choose. Many of the instructors will also come to your home if you want to host a private school. Several of our instructors want to teach kids as well, or mother/child groups. Everyone on our team is committed to protecting the brand and making sure you get a wonderful Cookie School experience no matter where you take your class. If you have any question regarding an instructor or available location, just send me a message. You can also find a list of legitimate Cookie School instructors here on this website.
Finally, thank you to everyone who is talking about Cookie Nip and posting pictures on Facebook of deliciousness they baked with Cookie Nip and contributing to the enthusiastic launch of a product we all love. Keep talking about it until every baker knows!