Quo Vadis Sylve Hollins
The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Baking is a family affair for New Orleans entrepreneur Brittney Hawkins Dobard. Dobard’s husband, daughter, and brother all help with her baking biz, aptly named “NoLa Cookie Co.”
Entrepreneur and chef Brittney Hawkins-Dobard has found her sweet spot.
The native New Orleanian turned her love and appreciation for food into a family business named NoLa Cookie Co.
“Our company is family-owned and operated and was founded right here in New Orleans,” Dobard said. “Every order is freshly prepared with love from our family to yours.”
And to ensure the company’s success, everyone pitches in for the family affair.
“My husband and I prepare all of our doughs in-house — using the highest-quality ingredients available,” Dobard said. “My daughter and brother assist with adding sweet notes and handing prepared orders off to customers. I have a sister who does our graphics and another who helps when needed.”
Dobard fell in love with food and baking as a little girl while studying her grandmother, Geraldine Ellis, in the kitchen. Dinner brought her family closer together and provided a platform to share thoughts, ideas and goals.
“She (her grandmother) spent her life cooking and serving our family with the best soul food I’ve ever had,” Dobard added. “It’s my intention to honor her and make others feel as special as I did while enjoying her meals.”
Dobard initially pursued a career in the insurance industry, but she continued her favorite hobby of baking treats and would often share the sweet goods with co-workers and customers as thank-you gifts.
The response was overwhelming and Dobard received rave reviews as her hobby quickly grew.
“I was getting great feedback and frequent requests for more… so I started charging,” Dobard said. “Once demand grew, NoLa Cookie Co. was officially established and has been satisfying ‘sweet-tooths’ throughout New Orleans ever since.”
When the pandemic hit, Dobard found it challenging to adapt and survive.
Learning to pay attention, follow best practices, be patient and stay proactive were key. “The pandemic has been our biggest teacher,” Dobard said. “We have seen restaurants we know and love completely disappear.”
The ever-changing restrictions during the pandemic proved to be the company’s biggest challenge.
“We haven’t been able to be in front of our clients at events, so we’ve been figuring out ways to be creative and increase our online presence during quarantines and social distancing,” Dobard added. “We plan to continue to utilize technology and southern hospitality to serve our customers in the best manner.”
Social media, word of mouth and working with delivery partners helped the online gourmet cookie service remain accessible and grow. Community support helped, while loyal customers continued to place regular orders.
“Our online reviews have proven to be tremendously valuable and has helped us gain clients, near and far,” she added.
While in quarantine, folks craved cookies and NoLa Cookie Co. ‘s menu features several kinds of cookies, brownies and pound cakes.
“My favorite cookie to make is the Fat Tuesday deluxe cookie,” Dobard said. “We call that one a party in your mouth. There’s a duo of chocolate chips, multi-colored sprinkles and toffee bits so it’s easy to be mesmerized by these both baked and unbaked.”
Other deluxe cookie offerings include red velvet, chocolate turtle caramel chunk, white chocolate macadamia nut and more.
“Our most popular cookie is by far the classic chocolate chip cookie,” Dobard said. “I think the fact that it’s such a classic flavor, plus the extra love we put in them, pushes it over the top.”
Dobard never imagined how the dream of owning her own cookie company would one day come to pass and she credits the city of New Orleans for her inspiration.
“I feel a deep sense of gratitude for my hometown and know that it’s truly a gift being born and bred here,” Dobard said. “That’s why we call it NoLa Cookie Co. There’s something magical about this place. It’s in the people, the flavor, the food, our traditions and culture. When folks indulge in our gourmet treats, I want them to taste that joy in every bite.”
Even though Dobard has secret recipes that she inherited from her family and developed throughout the years, she said the main ingredients remain the same: love, passion, and empathy. Her goal is to infuse rich flavor in every bite to give you a “little taste of that magical, delicious joy.”
Each sweet treat is handcrafted, baked-to-order and delivered warm. “If you place an order with us, whether it’s for you, a gift to a friend or event, know that it is baked with love and you’ll taste it,” Dobard said. “NoLa Cookie Co. looks forward to sharing our delicious gourmet cookies and treats with you and yours and becoming a staple in our beloved city.”
NoLa Cookies Co offers delivery, shipping, and curb-side pickup. To check out the menu and place an order, visit nolacookieco.com.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.