Omar Mamoon’s journey to entrepreneurial purveyor-hood is as serendipitous as his eggless cookie dough is delicious.
Basically, I was very unhappy at my corporate desk job. I was dating a girl who fell in love with the cookies I was making her, and I was making her a lot of cookies. I found myself going back and forth to the the store buying ingredients. I finally decided to just make the dough for her so she could make fresh cookies whenever she wanted.
When it came time for me to choose what kind of purveyor I wanted to be I asked myself, ‘What’s one thing that I can make really well that people would be willing to buy? The answer was cookies.
I moved to SF from Southern Cali in 2007. I had an apartment on Folsom in the city. There was a building across the street where I’d see people come and go all day with ingredients and prepared food items. One day I just decided to go over and ask what was going on in there.
The place turned out to be La Cocina Community Kitchen, a not-for-profit test kitchen/commercial prep space for minority, immigrant and underprivileged entrepreneurial purveyors etc.
I was instantly intrigued with La Cocina and decided to volunteer there. My Mom is a woman of color and I really liked the idea of giving back while volunteering in such a diverse and creative environment.
La Cocina was the reason and the spark for me. Funny, because there I was, miserable at this desk job, wondering what to do with my life. Literally across the street from my home was this place that would set me on my path. In 2013 I quit my job at Salesforce and started Dough & Co.
During my period of recipe development, my cookie dough kept disappearing out of the fridge. Soon I discovered that my roommates and girlfriend were sneaking in there and devouring it. But of course it’s not safe to eat cookie dough because of the risks involved with eating raw eggs. That’s when I got the big idea.
Eggless Dough Solution
Lots of trial and error. I did a lot of research. White Chia Seeds with water turned out to be the missing ingredient. (Besides being a good binder, Chia Seeds are packed with health promoting Omega 3s.)
Relationship with The Chefs’ Warehouse
CW’s been an amazing catalyst in terms of Dough & Co’s growth and instrumental in guiding my business decisions. They took a real gamble on me. At the time, I was one guy making cookie dough by myself. Fortunately they thought I had an awesome product and could see that I was very eager to succeed. They gave me great advice in regards to offering pre-portioned cookie dough, getting help with production, and creating more flavors.
Dough & Co’s New Flavors
Besides the Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies we have Smoked Salted Peanut, Horchata Cookie, White Chocolate Macadamia, and Brownie Cookie.
Sea Salt of Choice
Maldon. It’s such a beautiful, flaky finishing salt. It offers a nice crunch, with a delicate salinity and rich sweetness.
Wisdom to new purveyors
From the beginning, I’ve been adamant about being honest and just saying ‘I don’t know exactly what I’m doing, but I am going to make this work. It’s not what you’re doing, it’s your commitment.
This is the full circle aspect of my life and business. La Cocina inspired me when I needed it. I’m very proud to say that Dough & Co donates collectively to various non-profits including La Cocina . So far I’ve helped raise and directly donated over $10,000 (It actually ends up being a lot more than 1% of my profits). I really stand the by the importance of giving back.
My schedule is pretty full these days. The days are all about Dough & Co. At night I write. (Omar is also an accomplished food writer, Huffington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Food Blogs etc.) I look forward to continuing to see Dough & Co products available at new venues that excite me to go to. This is how I know it’s a good fit.