Fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies are one of the few things that can transform even the most level-headed and responsible adult into a child at heart. Whenever you need a quick dose of warmth, nostalgia, and joy, reach for one of these sticky sweets. Just ask Tiffany and Leon Chen, who started the cookie delivery service Tiff’s Treats. They’ve combined her lifelong knack for baking with his business savvy to open more than 30 cookie shops in three different states. And their growing legion of devoted followers can be summed up in three words: fresh, warm, and delivered.
Amending the Bread
Their love story, like any good fairy tale, has had its share of unexpected turns. They were both sophomores at the University of Texas at Austin in 1999 when it all started when Tiffany dumped Leon on a date. Tiffany’s mother soon suggested that her daughter apologize. Tiffany, a lifelong baker, brought Leon a warm batch of cookies. Leon offered her an idea in exchange for her apology: turn this into a business. The beginning of Tiff’s Treats.
Although Leon admits he’s not usually a big fan of sweets, he couldn’t help but rave about the cookies he tried. When I first tried the cookies, I didn’t realize I wanted them. So the idea that other people might want them piqued my interest.
While still in school, the two friends decided to start a cookie business out of Leon’s apartment and take orders over the phone. They thought it would be a good idea to start this company after they finished school.
An Ideal Formula
To build a successful company, you need more than just an idea; you need a fantastic product. The company’s signature collection has grown from its original chocolate chip cookie to include such varieties as chocolate chip pecan, snickerdoodle, peanut butter, peanut butter chocolate chip, white chocolate chip and almond, M&M’S®, sugar, oatmeal raisin, and oatmeal chocolate chip. Recent menu updates include warm fudge brownies. and guests can also look forward to special or seasonal tiff’s treats coupon on a first-come, first-served basis.
All of Tiffany’s recipes come from her mother, and they have been refined over the years. In fact, it’s been in Tiffany’s family for quite some time. When she was ten years old, she and her siblings filmed their first television commercial in their own living room. Bakery owner was her big break.
One of the things that sets them apart is that they deliver warm cookies straight from the oven. In other words, once an order is placed, only then do the cookies get baked. This requires some advanced planning, but the end product is well worth it. It is possible, however, to purchase individual cookies whenever you like.
Tiffany and Leon have been guided by the company’s core values despite numerous requests for new products and flavors over the years. Leon insists, “Our brand decisions must always center on the fact that we are the industry standard for delivering warm cookies. A new idea isn’t implemented if it won’t improve our performance in that area. Guests at your next party can enjoy warm cookies sandwiched around vanilla Blue Bell ice cream thanks to the Tiffwich Parties we’ve been offering for the past few years. Tiff’s Treats are available in miniature boxes as party and wedding favors. Therefore, everything we undertake is connected to, or serves to bolster, our standing as a provider of warm cookies. While milk, soda, and ice cream pints aren’t exactly our bread and butter, we do offer them as optional extras. Since we aren’t the best at making ice cream or milk, we outsource the job.
High on Sugar
In 2000, Tiff’s Treats outgrew the kitchen in Leon’s Austin apartment and moved into the back of a local eatery. A converted 1940s bungalow in Central Austin provided them with their own real estate in 2003, and they are still there to this day.
Those who are already familiar with and fond of Tiff’s Treats may view an expansion as a foregone conclusion. Customers were patient but persistent in their attempts to convince the duo to make the change. However, in 2006, a second Tiff’s Treats location opened in Dallas, at a highly requested location near where the two owners grew up in Richardson.
The business has since experienced meteoric growth. In less than 20 years, Tiff’s Treats has expanded to more than 30 stores across Texas, Georgia, and Tennessee, with an eye toward eventually opening as many as 1,000 locations across the country. How far we’ve come from the days of dial-up internet, cell phones, and apartment kitchens in the late 1990s!
“Starting, running, and growing this business with Tiff has been one of the most incredible experiences because I got to do this with her, and we are in it together,” Leon says in retrospect. “At first, we hit a lot of lows; we had to fight for our lives every day. We wouldn’t be here today if we hadn’t been looking out for each other in addition to ourselves. We’ve developed a truly special friendship now. Without Tiff, it is highly unlikely that this company would have reached this point. It’s a special thing to know that she and I have literally shed blood, sweat, and tears for each other.
Not-So-Secret-Ingredients: Fans and Philanthropy
If you ask any Tiff’s Treats fan, they will gladly describe their favorite flavor (or flavors) and the warm feeling they got from that experience. Which they call their #WarmCookieMoment. Even hours before a store opens, hundreds of customers will wait in line. People in Arlington, where the 30th location was opening. Started camping out and waiting in line 26 hours before the doors even opened.
Some fans have even gone the extra mile, or literally hundreds of them, becoming unofficial roadies for the brand. Those at the head of the line at the opening of the Atlanta area store, the first outside of Texas, boasted that they had also attended the openings in San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston. They made the trip all the way from Texas to Georgia just for this occasion.
“The ability to make people happy is one of the best parts of our jobs. That is the crux of our work. “We link up people and we give them experiences,” Leon says. People have used Tiff’s Treats to express their love in proposals and to console loved ones after a miscarriage. As a company, we count it an honor to share in our customers’ special moments, and it is this personal connection that inspires us to give back.
At each new store’s grand opening, a dozen cookies cost only $5 instead of the regular price of $15. And up to $5,000 in sales (not just profits) on that day will donated to a designate local charity. On top of that, many salaried corporate workers and store managers volunteer their time to fill the vacancies. Tiffany, Leon, and the whole staff think this is the most effective way to integrate into the neighborhood, and they all agree that they have gained a great deal from their experiences.
The Final Chomp
Leon says, “We still both feel uncomfortable calling it a ‘success’ or hearing others call it that’. When ask if he has been surprise by Tiff’s Treats’ success. To us, the term “success” is premature because we aren’t even close to being finish. When we open a store in a new town and people are eagerly awaiting its arrival. we are humbled by the enthusiasm they have shown for the brand.
Regardless of how you measure success. It’s obvious that this couple genuinely cares about one another, their employees, and their customers. And that sweetens the taste of victory even more. Visit www.cookiedelivery.com now to find out more information and place an order for fresh, baked cookies.
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