From the second we tried Edoughble, we knew it was a hands down winner. This edible cookie dough is without a doubt the yummiest, in the most outrageous flavors, and it’s meant to be eaten raw. So get yourself settled in with a container of Makin’ Whoopi Pie (created in honor of Whoopi Goldberg who gifted Edoughble to Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show!), and read up on how entrepreneur Rana Lustyan and her husband John got the inspiration to start this beyond fab company. Check out edoughble.com and for some serious food porn, @edoughble on Instagram. Be sure to use code Fit15 for 15% off your order (excluding monthly subscriptions).
How did you start your career?
I have been academically and professionally dabbling in the food industry since 2003. I was a pastry cook at Spago in Beverly Hills, I then went on to graduate from Le Cordon Bleu and did my externship at Boulevard in San Francisco and dreamt of owning my own restaurant one day. I decided to go back to school in 2008 to get my MBA from Marshall School of Business at USC and that is where John and I wrote the business plan for Edoughble and won the business plan competition! Upon graduation, we were not financially ready to give up any more time unsalaried so I went to work for the Hillstone Restaurant Group where I learned an immense amount about restaurant operations. So my background is a mix of culinary and front of house operations.
What did you study in school?
I was an Organizational Studies major at the University of Michigan which is an interdisciplinary major focusing on psychology, sociology and economics but I was able to take several classes in the business school as well such as marketing and law. In graduate school I focused on real estate finance and entrepreneurship.
Do you think your MBA helped you in founding Edoughble?
I do. If I had to distill it down I would say Business School has helped tremendously in 3 main ways.
1) Alumni network access and support from successful, like-minded experts and entrepreneurs in and around our industry of interest .
2) Coursework that provided a framework to analyze, identify and succinctly take action – from feasibility analysis to business plan writing and pitching.
3) John and I met there and conceived the concept there.
What was your inspiration for Edoughble?
The initial inspiration came from a news report in 2009 claiming Nestle Tollhouse had recalled millions of units of their popular cookie dough when over 70 ppl across 36 states become sick from eating the dough raw. I was then inspired by the limitless combinations of dough flavors and toppings and my culinary imagination started running wild! Cookie dough that you didn’t need to worry about turning into the perfect cookie! It was the dough itself that evoked the nostalgic pleasure and could be eaten with reckless abandon.
You knew you had a good idea. Was it hard to convince others?
Consumers get it right away. 9 out of 10 times the response is the same, “Oh my god, that’s the most ingenious idea.” And then when they taste it, game over. As for more of the B2B side, we’re certainly having to spend some upfront time educating store level and regional buyers about our product which is really looking to shake-up and reinvent a stagnant cookie dough aisle. We always let the product and the sale speak for themselves and so far we have seen a lot of excitement around this new category.
What’s your favorite flavor?
I like the flavors I make that are not traditionally cookie dough. While my chocolate chip cookie dough takes cookie dough to another level, I love the seasonal doughs I create like Pecan Pie, Milk n’ Cookies, Makin’ Whoopi Pie (which I created in honor of our fan Whoopi Goldberg who gifted Edoughble to Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show!).
Is it ever hard being in business with your husband?
John and I come in with very different and complimentary skillsets so we bring different perspectives to the business that encourage growth. The tough part is he works full time and I work on Edoughble full time so it is hard to find time for ourselves and our family. I tend to want to work and utilize his brainpower the moment he walks through the door at night and he likes to have some time away from only talking shop.
Where can we find Edoughble?
Edoughble has over 10 flavors online at edoughble.com and we ship directly to you! If you are in Los Angeles or Orange County, you can find Edoughble at your local Gelsons or Whole Foods near the cookie dough refrigerator.
What’s next for the company?
Our goal is to be a supermarket staple and in refrigerators across the US of all cookie dough lovers and anyone who has a sweet tooth and like to indulge on a worthwhile, high quality treat. We are the Häagen-Dazs® of the edible cookie dough dessert category.
What’s your advice for the young entrepreneur?
Passion, endless hard work and persistence are integral to your success during your pursuit of your goals. Entrepreneurs are paving a road and it often feels the road is made of concrete and brick and glue. Trust your gut, stay laser focused, and keep moving forward. Never be afraid to ask for help or advice and develop close contact with your customers/end users as their opinions should be heavily weighted as you scale your business.