Welcome to Partner Provisions, where we introduce you to the incredible people and stories behind the restaurants, food trucks and caterers helping Zerocater feed the workforce – breakfast, lunch, dinner and every meal in between.
Name: Kelsey Witherow
City: San Francisco
What is DOUGHP?
DOUGHP (think..”that’s dope”) is a San Francisco-based company taking cookie dough to the next level. We scoop up cookie dough that is both safe and ridiculously fun to eat. By ditching the eggs and heat-treating the flour, your spoon (or face) can dive right into this cookie dough. We’re uniting cookie dough lovers in a guilt-free, nostalgic, and crazy fun experience. We love bringing our funky, unique dessert option to people in our shop on Pier 39, at food festivals & events, and through catering around the Bay Area!
I’m the founder, Kelsey, and I ditched a 10-year career in high tech to follow my sweet tooth and start DOUGHP. To give back to the community, all of our dough is produced at a non-profit called “The Bread Project” empowering low-income individuals to become more self-sufficient through kitchen training and career building skills. Doughing good and making cookie dough dreams come true 🙂
The cookie dough craze is REAL. Our brand is millennial-focused with a Bay Area vibe – we’re pretty sure you’re gonna dig it.
Tell us DOUGHP’s Story. How did it come to be? Where did the idea come from? Why Cookie Dough?
I’ve got an insatiable sweet tooth, a passion for making people happy, and a love of creating wild confections! I was raised by a big family in Sacramento, California who can all agree on one thing – food. is. awesome.
While I spent (and enjoyed!) a decade in high-tech before starting DOUGHP, my one true love has been desserts. It’s a toss-up if I like making sweets more or watching other people enjoy what I make! To put your heart into something, truly enjoy doing it, and see others light up with their first bite – there’s nothing more rewarding than that.
Cookies are the ultimate go-to. Without fail, any time I made cookies, I’d always save some of the cookie dough for secretly snacking on. Cookies are a total 2-for-1; melt-in-your-mouth dough before you bake it, and warm chewy cookies after baking! I felt like a bit of an unnecessary rebel though, as consuming raw eggs in the dough was definitely not chill. As I turned to a healthier lifestyle and became what I call a ‘part-time vegan” over the last few years, I’d swapped the recipe’s eggs for a vegan substitute. I realized I’d made a guilt-free way to dig in without risking getting sick!
Thanks to Pinterest, I realized I was not alone in this edible cookie dough love affair and the MANY ways raw cookie dough can be enjoyed. I’m always in search of a new, funky dessert to try out and I can’t think of anything more awesome than getting a heaping scoop of edible cookie dough – and better yet, one that I can still bake if I choose to!
Once I had this delicious dessert, it was time to figure out how to get it out to the masses! Building DOUGHP was a way to bring this widely-loved treat out of your kitchen and into the public where you can enjoy it with friends, family or out on a date. I wanted to build a dessert shop that was built for the Bay Area, full of pop culture references and ridiculous sayings my friends & I use. Raised in Northern California, I crafted this brand for my fellow millennials; building off the different cultures/experiences I grew up with. I’m bringing out a treat that can bring back childhood memories – with a brand that is anything but childish. DOUGHP is a little edgy, slightly sarcastic, and delicious AF.
And, while we joke that you may get ‘hooked on DOUGHP’, I myself am pretty stoked to be addicted to sugar these days! I got sober in September ’15 and have been the best version of myself ever since! I can most certainly say DOUGHP wouldn’t exist if I hadn’t made the decision to stop drinking and I hope my journey can inspire others struggling with their own addictions. Really dope stuff can happen in sobriety, I promise… 🙂
So here I am! DOUGHP is ready to rock your world and make you rethink how you do dessert. See you soon!
Our customers love that there is always a new flavor of DOUGHP to try. What’s your favorite DOUGHP flavor?
Cookie dough is crazy versatile! It’s a lot like ice cream in that you can play with tons of different flavor combinations and mix-ins! I’ve always loved that part of it – when you make cookies at home, you can wing it with whatever toppings/mix-ins you had on hand and make a whole new cookie! A little mint & some crushed Oreos one day…a little lavender and oatmeal the next day! Speaking of which – that one definitely takes the cake for my favorite flavor – Lavender Dreamz! A lavender, white chocolate chip oatmeal cookie dough. BRB..drooling!
What’s your favorite thing about bringing DOUGHP to the offices in San Francisco?
You know one hell of a way to liven up a Wednesday at work? Bring a cookie dough bar to the office. It’s such a blast to bring DOUGHP to offices – we’re really brightening people’s days with a sweet treat that they’ve never quite seen like this, but have this nostalgic memory tied to it. It brings people together to share memories of making cookies with their families, etc.
What is one thing not many know about DOUGHP?
We have all of our dough mixed up at a non-profit in Berkeley called The Bread Project! When I hit ~300 pounds of dough a week – making it myself was just not possible any longer! I heard about the Bread Project and it was love at first sight! They employ low-income individuals and teach them skills for self-sufficiency. Kitchen skills, resume building – the works!
It’s great to be able to give back as we grow. Since starting with them last Fall, they’ve mixed up more than 20,000 pounds for us! Pretty epic.
What’s your dream for DOUGHP? Where do you envision your company in five years
I just want to be happy and share this ridiculously tasty cookie dough with people….It’s such a rad thing to share this recipe with the world. We’re not just selling dessert, a scoop of cookie dough is like giving people a flashback to their childhood. Nostalgia by the scoop. I’m on cloud nine watching people enjoy DOUGHP and talk about memories they have of sneaking a bite of cookie dough. But that happiness is sometimes tough to maintain when wearing all the different hats it takes to run a small business!
I left a 10-year career in tech to follow this sweet tooth of mine, so working long hours wasn’t something new to me. But these new hours are more like 24/7. Owning your own company means you’re on, all the time; at least while we’re still small! It can be tough to find that balance between self-care & bad-ass biz owner. I believe this will be a big breakthrough year for DOUGHP, so I hope to focus on getting the people on the team to share the load. Also, a good support system is crucial and I’m lucky to have a very patient, supportive boyfriend – admittedly, he may just be sticking around for the perks: free cookie dough. 😉
In my eyes, DOUGHP has a place in a few other big cities (LA, Austin, Las Vegas…). I’m also getting the gears moving on a DOUGHP Road Trip down the west coast in a food truck! To accomplish all this awesomeness, I’ll need some help. Something my nana used to say to me, “Kelsey, you can do anything. But not everything.” So for 2018, success is finding the balance: kick ass and stay sane.
Anything else we forgot to ask?
I ♥ Zerocater! I’d just want to let you guys know what a fun partnership it’s been so far. I’m happy we were able to bring something a little quirky and unusual to table for your clients. And equally awesome, it’s opened up our doors to tons of new businesses that may not have otherwise found us! It’s helping us grow quickly and I’m always trying to think of new ideas/offerings that your clients might love. We’re up for anything – and so is Zerocater. Winning combo. Teamwork makes the dream work!