|Name||: Akiva Resnikoff|
|Company Name||: Cookie Department|
|Industry||: Food Industry|
Tell us something about yourself and how you got started on baking cookies?
I'm passionate about food. The idea to start my own company began brewing in my mind while I was working at the energy drink company. I knew I wanted to do something in the food industry. I toyed with several ideas. Finally one afternoon when I was sitting in a coffee shop, I saw several people ordering coffee and having a cookie. And I thought to myself, why don't I put the two together. I created the Awaken Baked cookie and gave it to my friends, family and the nearby coffee shops. Everyone just loved them. That's how it all started. I didn't want to bake just 'cookies'. I wanted to bake 'functional' cookies
What are functional cookies?
Like an energy drink. It's a drink and it's loaded with caffeine to boost your energy levels. Similarly, you have foods that are high in fibre or calcium. Each product serves a purpose which could either be more nutrients or a better way to digest. I wanted to make each cookie functional. Right now we have the 'Awaken Baked'- rich in coffee. 'Tough Cookie'- Protein rich and ideal post workout treat. 'Great Full' - Antioxidants rich. 'Chocoloate Cip Nookie - our vitality cookie. So it's not just a cookie but a cookie with a purpose!
So the first time you baked the coffee cookie, you had no plans of getting into business?
Nope I was just doing it for fun. One day I was driving around town and a guy walked up to me and said, " Aren't you the guy who comes to the coffee shop and gives cookies? I love your cookies." And then I thought to myself that this could actually turn into a business. I started out with the functional cookies in 2009 and have been doing that since then. I did everything myself. Right from baking, packing, delivering to getting more business. In 2011, I brought on a partner who could help me with the administrative side of the business.
Were you terrified at the prospect of starting your business ?
You have your fear but you decide not to listen to them. When your head is full of ideas and concepts, you just want to go ahead and not look back at all. I was afraid, but not enough to stop doing what I thought would be great. I had a lot of family support and I told myself that I will go ahead.
What's it like to work for yourself?
It feels great. The only person I can blame is myself. I don't have to report to anyone. I can take all the business decisions. And the best part, go to work anytime I want and close it anytime I want.
What advice would you give to someone starting his/her own business?
Do a lot of research. Get out there in the market. Observe and analyse. Talk to family and friends and have a solid plan before you start making the product.
How did you come across Zoho?
Google. I was looking for an online invoicing software like Quickbooks and I found Zoho Invoice. I tried it and have been using it ever since.
How is Zoho Invoice working for you?
It is user-friendly. The language in the application is way more easy to understand than Quickbooks. I do my billing, keep track of products and customer payments in Zoho Invoice.
Do you like the creative side of your business more or the management side of it?
I like the creative side more. No doubts there. I was doing everything up until now before my partner came along. I still do a lot of invoicing myself.
Apart from baking what do you do?
I eat a lot of cookies and so I need to stay physically fit. I ride, I cook. I go camping, back packing. I love rock climbing. California weather is just unbelievable.
"It was a relief to set recurring invoices and not be worried about it or to manually keep track of them."
"Automated payment reminder is great. It helps us to be more productive and saves a lot of time."
"In a nutshell, Zoho Invoice met our design goals and had better prices than what we offer our clients."
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