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IMPACT Award Finalist: Urban Cookies

May 11th, 2011

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Once close to closing, Urban Cookies' fortunes are sweet

Baked Goods

Cookie Company Came Back From the Brink

Shaun and Brady Breese figured 2009 would be their year. A unique, maturing organic cookie business and newborn baby meant a bright future. But the reality of entrepreneurship nearly turned dreams into nightmares.

Urban Cookies’ first-quarter sales declined 35 percent, their retail store was struggling and the couple’s savings were nearly gone. They made the “gut-wrenching” decision to try and survive the profitable holiday season before closing up the business for good.

Unless…..

“It was a point of desperation. We had to do something out of character or close our doors,” Shaun remembers. “Take risks or fail.”

The risks included a new product line, lower prices, discounts for top-tier customers and enrolling in APS’s business mentorship program, AAAME. The cupcakes stimulated store sales. The price cuts spurred even more, leading to increased revenue and customer retention. AAAME triggered more refinements, and Urban Cookies ended 2009 with an overall 80 percent sales increase, a diversified product line and the benefit of lessons learned.

“People have pipe dreams of starting a bakery and thinking customers are going to come walking in. That’s not the case,” Shaun warns. “You need a very strategic plan to bring in revenue.”

Their son, Oliver (who inspired the OllieCakes, which now make up half their retail sales) is now two. He’s running around his parents’ thriving bakery, which has remained true to its unwavering commitment to quality, old-fashioned values and a promise to making a difference in the community.  

“It’s night and day,” marvels Brady. “We’ve got two employees now, we’re doing things I didn’t know how to do before and we have a clearer picture of where we’re going.”

“I’m most proud that we didn’t become a statistic,” says Shaun. “We picked ourselves up and keep going. At least now we can be an inspiring story.”

Get Connected
Urban Cookies
www.urbancookies.com

The 2011 IMPACT Awards will be presented at a luncheon on Thursday, May 19 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa. Will you be there? Click here to reserve your seat for the event.

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