Your favorite childhood treat is lethal. Cookie dough is not safe to eat. Big shocker right? Who thought that uncooked eggs would be as delicious as they are dangerous? Certainly not anyone who screams out “salmonella be damned!” before going crazy on a $7 tube of raw egg deliciousness.
Local cookie dough lovers should get to know an appropriately-named local husband-and-wife-owned business: the Cleveland Cookie Dough Company. Northeast Ohio natives Steve and Vicki Kotris came up with a twist on the food truck game that is unique, safe to feast on, and extremely popular.
Steve and Vicki’s lack of motivation to flip houses ended up giving Northeast Ohio one of the most delicious treats known to the public. The trick is making cookie dough without eggs without losing that cookie dough charm. Steve’s first thought was to jest that “the cookie dough recipes were family secrets; recipes handed down by Grandma Kotris herself.” There is a grandma Kotris, although she has nothing to do with the recipe. The secret of the formula lives with Vicki, an honest, fair Cleveland girl who would never let Steve swindle the good people with tales of grandma’s cookies being adapted to remove the danger of raw egg.
This husband-and-wife team are truly building their company from scratch. Steve works as a CPA during the day and invests his personal time into the business along with his wife, who works works for a software company when she isn’t growing the new family business. Steve and Vicki quickly realized the food truck market had a huge hole in it. There are lots of places to get something to snack on, but aside from ice cream, there are almost no dessert trucks. This idea was so simple it had to work. They acquired a food truck in November that is now fully operational.
This is no ordinary food truck. This truck is a multicolored Dessert Factory. Steve and Vicki work with a new company called Prep Kitchen-CLE to create their inventory from scratch. That’s startups helping startups! After prep, they personally package and load the dough into their truck. With its newly-wrapped exterior, the Cleveland Cookie Dough Company, finding the truck will be easy. The company has a collaborative effort going with Platform Brewery and often opens up shop at their bar. Cookie dough and beer is a Babe Ruth-level hit that has led to a lucrative pairing. Though the company is young, there are many collaborations Steve and Vicki have in the works. The work does not stop. The duo often park up at the Cleveland Flea delighting sweet-toothed shoppers.
Steve and Vicki have a hit on their hands. This skyrocketing local business all came from a desire to invest in their future as a family, but not in a “traditional way.”
“We don’t know anything about flipping houses, we don’t know anything about this either but we can cook,” Vicki says. “I mean, Steve and I aren’t electricians.”
Underneath the tale of this brand new and already successful and innovative business is a love story that only can add to the strength of the Cleveland Cookie Dough Company. Steve tells a joke about how he met his business and life partner on a Tinder date.
“I’m really bad at Tinder,” he says. “I went there looking to hook up and ended up getting married on the first try.”
It’s hard to find someone you trust enough to meet with on Tinder. Steve and Vicki found love and a great business team. That story is almost as good as a grandma Kotris’ secret cookie recipe.
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James Earl Brassfield or simply JEB is a writer, podcast host, humorist, actor and “Black Hunter Thompson” type madman of no ill repute. Language has yet to evolve fully to describe his unique view of Northeast Ohio and the world. JEB produces work across all media with his original and clearly stated voice. @Jearlbrass