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Tasting the business world

Entrepreneurial students' edible cookie dough selling well
Estevan Comprehensive School, ECS, business
Treat Yourself vice president of information and online sales Robert Godfrey, left, Jordyn Lischka-Hirsch, vice president of production and president Hailey Dukart.

Estevan has a sweet tooth.

It appears so, anyway, according to the Estevan Comprehensive School’s entrepreneur class that has made over $3,000 by selling their latest product: edible cookie dough.

The class has called its business Treat Yourself and has sold nearly half of its peanut-free cookie dough supply, which is divided into white chocolate chip, chocolate chip, and M&M flavours.

ECS student and Treat Yourself’s vice president of information technology and online sales Robert Godfrey, said their product can’t be found anywhere else in Estevan.

“We’re really pushing the edible part of our cookie dough, the fact that it’s a new idea,” Godfrey said. “Looking around in Estevan, there’s nothing like our product here.”

Hailey Dukart, the president of Treat Yourself, noted bacteria such as salmonella could be ingested after eating raw cookie dough, and said their product’s simplicity is creating strong business opportunities around the community.

Coming up with the idea, however, was a long process, and cookie dough wasn’t the first concept to be considered. A series of bath bombs made it to the prototype stage, however according to Josh LeBlanc, the business class teacher, it simply didn’t work out and neither did a few of the other ideas they had.

“It took some time, but they realized that the cookie dough was their best alternative,” he said, noting his role with the business is that of a “facilitator,” and that he only steps in when major obstacles emerge. That hasn’t happened, he said.

“We want them to work through the different tools we give them to know when to say, ‘hang on, this isn’t working, maybe we should look at something new,’” he said.

Godfrey noted the various social media tools the team used to find an idea that worked for them, and that the marketing strategies of the 2014 class company, Bodacious Baskets, have been analyzed and similarly adopted.

LeBlanc said the cookie dough is an interesting product to sell because it doesn’t have a target audience. Bodacious Baskets, he explained, was made popular by the specific holidays the baskets could be customized to.

This year’s product takes a different approach.

“It appeals to all people … and they make great gifts,” LeBlanc said of Treat Yourself’s cookie dough.

Dukart said the business savvy obtained through the class is extremely valuable.

“A business degree is something I’ve considered doing for a long time … and this class has given me some great experience already,” she said.

LeBlanc said his goal is to give the class hands-on experience.

“You’re not going to learn how to run a business unless you do it,” he said. “I don’t want to bog them down with bookwork and schoolwork.

“I want them to take this business and go with it.”

For the next three weeks, Treat Yourself cookie dough will be available at the farmers’ market, which is located in the Shoppers Mall.

The group will be giving back to the community, as well. One dollar from every jar sold will go to the Estevan Humane Society.

Treat Yourself is also hoping to do well at the Junior Achievement Banquet this year, which takes place at the start of June. LeBlanc said last year’s class was nominated in nearly every category.

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