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“Shop Small” is a series where we speak to founders of small businesses discussing how their products and services address the needs of the members of the communities in which the founders identify.
Is there anything more delicious than a freshly baked cookie that’s chewy on the outside and gooey on the inside? Kafi Dublin doesn’t think so! Kafi is the founder of a cookie business called Gooey on the Inside (@gooeyondinside) that makes delicious cookies in a range of flavors from classics like chocolate chip, to creative inventions like churro and Dunkaroo cookies!
While Kafi is an expert baker now, that wasn’t always the case. Before founding Gooey on the Inside, Kafi worked for the local government. At some point, she realized she didn’t feel satisfied with her job and wanted a change.
“I was like, ‘Am I really happy with what I’m doing? Do I want to do this for another 10 years? I want to do something that makes me happy,’” she tells In The Know. “And then I said, ‘Okay, what’s my passion?’”
After some introspection, Kafi settled on baking. She explains, “I have this thing that I really enjoy baked goods, and they have to be gooey on the inside. So I said, ‘You know what? Let me try cookies.’”
Over time, Kafi moved from selling her cookies at pop-ups, to renting a shared kitchen, to owning her own shop. Now, she tries to push herself to come up with inventive new cookie flavors that will satisfy her ever-expanding customer base.
Kafi’s creative cookie flavors include birthday cake, churro, and even Dunkaroos! “I try not to make cookies like everybody else makes. So I try to put little twists on it,” she tells In The Know. “I think I was probably one of the first companies to make a Dunkaroo cookie. No one was making it before, and I loved Dunkaroos as a kid, so I said, ‘Well, why don’t I make a cookie out of it?’ I did the same thing with a churro. So I kind of like to think outside the box and not be like everybody else.”
Gooey on the Inside has a storefront in New York City, but if you can’t make it to the Big Apple, don’t worry! Gooey on the Inside ships its cookies throughout the USA.
Kafi tells In The Know how she developed an ingenious method for keeping cookies fresh when they are delivered. “What we do is we par-bake the cookies. So, instead of baking them for the full amount of time, we half-bake them and then we put in a vacuum sealed bag with an oxygen insert so it just takes out the moisture,” she explains. “When you get them home, you bake them and they’re pretty much as if you’d gotten them straight out of the oven from the shop.”
Kafi’s primary goal is to continue to think outside the box when it comes to her cookie business. She is currently working on developing baking kits that will allow her customers to make their own delicious Gooey on the Inside cookies at home.
“I think the next thing I want to do is increase the product line to maybe have some bake-at-home kits,” she explains. “We [also] used to have a cookie butter, which is a spreadable cookie. So I think we’re going to bring that back maybe for spring of next year. That’s about where we’re at at the moment in terms of things that we want to do.”
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