Q+A with Founder, Kristen Tolman
Guilty pleasure? We all have one- but not all of us can create thriving careers off of them… Like Kristen Tolman did! Kristen’s obsession with cookie dough began when she was a kid, but who likes that inevitable stomach ache after too many spoonfuls?! Sensing opportunity, Kristen created a recipe that turned this previously forbidden treat, into a totally accessible dessert. Her company, DŌ, Cookie Dough Confections sells edible cookie dough, and happens to be in a perfect location (right off NYU campus), is perfectly branded (punny sayings galore) and is adorable down to the last detail (ahem- whisk-shaped chandeliers etc.).
The by CHLOE. x DŌ collab is basically a “batch” made in heaven, DŌ–ntcha think! Together with the DŌ team, we’ve created a trio of vegan cookie dough, with flavors based off delicious by CHLOE. SWEETS! Check out our News + Events page for more deets!
by CHLOE: Introduce yourself!
Kristen Tomlan: Hey, I’m Kristen Tomlan, and I am the founder and CEO of DŌ, Cookie Dough Confections. I’m a designer & dessert-lover turned pastry chef & entrepreneur when I founded my one-of-a-kind cookie dough brand DŌ!
bC: Tell us about your career path- what were you doing before founding DŌ!
KT: Before DŌ, I was working as a brand strategy and design consultant for a global branding agency named Lippincott. I specialized in customer experience design & innovation for clients such as Samsung, BMW, and Kiehl’s to name a few. I really loved my job & got to travel the world, but ultimately my passion for baking – and eating cookie dough – took me in a different direction!
bC: So, out of all sugary treats, why edible cookie dough?!
KT: Cookie dough has been my guilty pleasure for as long as I can remember! I grew up next to my mom in the kitchen, learning the ins and outs of baking from her. We would always make a double batch so we could eat some of the cookie dough and save some for my Dad to enjoy when he came home from work! That cookie dough obsession continued all through college and post grad. There’s something about cookie dough – it’s nostalgic, previously a forbidden treat, and so, so delicious!
bC: What have been some challenges in founding your own company?
KT: There have been so many! The challenges early on for me were about learning a completely new business and industry. I didn’t have business, operations or management experience, so there was a lot of learning I had to do. Then there have been challenges with every new step and every time we’ve grown – like when we opened up our brick & mortar store in 2017 and the lines were crazy! We couldn’t keep up! While some challenges have been incredibly difficult and trying, having challenges along the way have only made me smarter, better and more prepared for the next challenge that comes along.
bC: What has been one of the most rewarding things about starting DO?!
KT: The positive response from our fans has definitely been the most rewarding part of starting DŌ. Our mission statement is “To Sweeten the Moment,” and that value is at the core of everything we do here at DŌ. I didn’t start this business to get asked on TV or to get rich quick, I founded DŌ because I wanted to share my love of cookie dough with as many others as possible. Hearing that customers have traveled from New Zealand to New York JUST to try DŌ is absolutely incredible. Seeing our fans post on social, hearing their stories when they come into the shop, to be able to engage with them and share their excitement over this product that we love–it’s absolutely priceless!
bC: Where do you see yourself, and your business in 5 years?
KT: I see us continuing to grow our retail footprint by opening more store, our e-commerce business including international shipping, and our wholesale business – as DŌ should be something everyone can find at their local grocery store!
bC: by CHLOE.’s first ever location is right around the corner from you, in NYU! What about our brand made you excited to partner with us?
KT: Well, first of all I am a HUGE fan of by CHLOE–the whole DŌ team is, really. If one of us gets by CHLOE. for lunch, chances are we’re all getting by CHLOE. for lunch. We love partnering with NYC brands, (especially brands in our neighborhood) who really share our values of community engagement and customer commitment. by CHLOE. is a young, fun, current brand that’s making waves in the industry–just like us! Plus, we loved the idea of expanding our vegan cookie dough options! Partnering up was a thrilling opportunity and a total no brainer!
bC: What is a piece of advice that you live by?
KT: You DOUGH you! We say this all the time at work – and at home. You have to do what you need to do to be happy, stay fulfilled and be the best version of yourself!
bC: What’s your favorite dish at by CHLOE.?
KT: Spicy Thai Salad with a side of Kale Artichoke Dip.
Nickname? Kris! (Which can get super confusing since my husband’s name is actually Chris).
Emoji that best describes you? The little confetti icon – there’s always something to celebrate in life!
Favorite place on earth? Someplace warm, sunny & with my husband, like The Hamptons or South of France!
Cocktail of choice? Bourbon Old Fashioned.
Top 3 restaurants (excluding by CHLOE., of course)! Rucola (Brooklyn, NY), Blue Hill (at Stone Barns) & Loring Place (Greenwich Village, NYC).
Favorite food? It’s a tie between tacos, pizza, and cookies!
Top 3 favorite fashion brands? Veronica Beard, Phillip Lim, & Elizabeth and James.
Early bird or night owl? Both? I guess more night owl, if I had to pick.
Choice super hero power? I wish I required no sleep – imagine all the things you could get done!
Go-to workout? SoulCycle or Physique 57.
Juice or smoothie? Smoothie.
3 objects you can’t live without? My computer, my phone, my Kitchenaid Mixer!
Whatcha readin’? I’ve been reading a ton of cookbooks lately! I just got Great Tastes: Cooking (and Eating) from Morning to Midnight, so I can’t wait to open it up!