In 1999, Tiffany accidentally stood up Leon Chen for a date. As an apology, she baked and delivered a batch of warm cookies, and the concept of warm cookie delivery was born.
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Tiff’s Treats Cookie Delivery Website – Visit and get a 20% discount on cookies and/or her book, It’s Not Just Cookies!
3 Value Bombs
1) You have more chances to succeed if you build and focus on growing your company first before raising money.
2) You can do it. If you’re looking to start a business, or you’re early on in your business, and you are unsure about your next growth step, have confidence in yourself. It can be scary, but go for it anyway.
3) There is no one way to get it done.
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Today’s Audio MASTERCLASS: How College Sophomores Turned $20, a Cellphone and a Dream Into a Cookie Company with Tiffany and Leon Chen
[1:57] –Leon and Tiffany share how a college apartment cookie delivery service turned into a hundred-million-dollar-and-growing business.
- It started when Tiffany stood Leon up on a date.
- As an apology, Tiffany baked cookies for Leon.
- As soon as Leon took a bite of the cookie, he had his ah-ha moment!
- Leon and Tiffany started the warm cookie business in a college apartment two weeks later.
- They are still doing it 23 years later.
[4:04] –How did Tiff’s Treats become a technology-driven consumer brand over the years?
- It was a product of their problem-solving – of not having software to handle their services.
- They hired software engineers to build them custom software.
- Since then, they have continuously developed the platform that runs their business.
[5:29] – Leon: What are the biggest struggles you face in building the software side of your business?
- The most significant struggle they encountered was they kept hiring software developers who told them they would do the job, but then ended up not returning their call.
- Finally, they connected with someone who helped them, and that individual is now their Chief Technology Officer.
[6:47] – Leon: What is the secret to raising hundreds of millions of dollars from investors?
- They started in 1999, but they did not ask for funding until 2008.
- You’ll have more chances to succeed by building and focusing on growing your company first before raising money.
[7:43] – A timeout to thank our sponsors, HubSpot and Thinkific!
[10:13] – Tiffany: Tiff’s Top Five Core Values that guide the company.
- We Make People Happy
- We Make It Right
- We Protect The Brand
- We Are Passionate
- We Adapt And Grow
[15:28] – Leon: The Three Cornerstones of the Tiff’s Treats Brand: Technology, Charity, and Warm Moments
- Warm Moments: People were ordering Tiff’s Treats warm cookies as a way to connect and comfort one another.
- Charity: It started with the opening of their 2nd location, in 2006. They give 100% of the sales to their local charity for every opening.
- Technology: They are an e-commerce brand, and they spend 10% of their sales on building their technology. Their goal is to make the customer experience seamless.
[19:26] – Tiffany and Leon: How was that process for you two with writing your first book together – Not Just Cookies?
- They struggled at first, but Leon suggested writing together in different voices, and then it became easy.
- The fun and rewarding part was reminiscing about some of their early struggles, and looking back at their incredible inflection points – not just in their business but in their lives.
[21:49] – Tiffany and Leon talk about their book, It’s Not Just Cookies
- It’s Not Just Cookies is about their struggles in starting their business and the lessons they’ve picked up along the way.
- They hope that aspiring entrepreneurs can relate and get inspiration out of it.
- If we can do it, you can too.
- Tiff’s Treats Cookie Delivery Website – Visit and get a 20% discount on cookies and/or the book, It’s Not Just Cookies!
[23:46] – Tiffany and Leon’s parting piece of guidance.
- You can do it. If you’re looking to start a business or you’re early on in your business, and you are unsure about your next growth step, have confidence in yourself. It can be scary, but go for it anyway.
- There is no one way to get it done.
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