Where Is The Cookie Dough Cafe From Shark Tank Today?

We all know we're not supposed to eat raw cookie dough, yet many of us have tried it at least once. Some might still regularly consume it. However, as explained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the raw eggs in a lot of raw cookie dough could carry food-poisoning germs such as Salmonella. Thankfully, baking kills those germs, and the cookie dough in frozen treats like ice cream has been treated to make it safe to eat, but what if you want some sweet dough that's neither hot nor cold?

Enter Joan Pacetti and Julia Schmid, two sisters who appeared on Shark Tank back in its fifth season (via Hulu). Inspired by childhood memories of baking with their mom, the two created raw, edible cookie dough (without eggs) and the Cookie Dough Cafe company to go along with it. Yet, their kitchen was too cramped for their big dreams of mass-producing, making a distribution deal, and becoming a national brand. So, they asked the Sharks for $50,000 in exchange for a 20% stake in their business, citing a purchase order that would put them in 50 grocery stores as well as interest from Walgreens to entice the Sharks. Unfortunately, Kevin O'Leary was unimpressed by their sales numbers, while Daymond John and Mark Cuban felt there was too much work left undone to invest. Fortunately, Lori Greiner and Steve Tisch, a Guest Shark, saw potential and invested $100,000 for 30% of the venture.

So, where is the startup today?

The Cookie Dough Cafe still exists

The Cookie Dough Cafe is no half-baked idea: It's a full-fledged business. Now, nearly a decade after appearing on Shark Tank, the company is no longer hand-packing and self-delivering its product to just a handful of stores. Production has been scaled up and Cookie Dough Cafe's treats can be found in roughly 10,000 different retail locations, scattered from coast to coast. The company's products include seven different flavors — brownie batter, chocolate chip, confetti cake, monster, naked, oatmeal chocolate chip, and Oreo — offered in bulk tubs, jars, and mini cups.

Additionally, there is now a brick-and-mortar Cookie Dough Cafe that's located in Portland, Oregon. The scoop shop's menu naturally includes scoops of their edible dough, as well as fully baked cookies, ice cream sandwiches, and milkshakes. Yelp reviews of the café seem mostly positive with an average of four out of five stars. Top commenters seem ambivalent about the taste of the treat itself, with some raving about it and others calling it average, but most seem to agree that the staff, at least, are very friendly. Interestingly, in the "About the Business" section of the claimed Yelp page, Joan Pacetti and Julia Schmid explain they are the sole owners and operators of the business, which suggests the deal with the Sharks may actually have fallen through at some point. Regardless, the two sisters are looking for other people to franchise their Portland scoop shop, still hoping to grow their company.

The Cookie Dough Cafe started a trend

Nowadays, you can find products like Nestlé Toll House's Edible Cookie Dough Bites on store shelves. Yet, that wasn't the case a decade ago. Per Eater, Joan Pacetti and Julia Schmid claimed that their product was the only commercial cookie dough safe for consumption. Realizing they themselves preferred batter over cookies, "We came up with the recipes ourselves using different ratios of butters and sugars," Joan told the New York Times. At first, "We'd mix up a batch and get feedback from friends and family, who'd say, 'that's a cute idea,'" but the sisters believed it was more than just cute; it was profitable.

By the late 2010s, others had agreed and followed suit with their own doughs. There's the "eat dessert first" parlor Dō in New York, the "forget the oven, grab a spoon" online dough vendor Unbaked, and the edible dough delivery company Dough Miami. Bakeries and fro-yo spots known for other desserts also started adding edible cookie dough to their menus. The topic was even trending on Google, Twitter, and Yelp as recently as 2017.

Why do people love cookie dough so much? Is it the deliciousness, the nostalgia, the thrill of novelty and risk, or something else? Will edible cookie dough be just a fad? It certainly must throw some people for a loop to learn cookie dough is edible now. Companies like the Cookie Dough Cafe are hoping consumers won't say, "And for that reason, I'm out!"