Sunday, February 14, 2016

Benicia mom’s homegrown cookie business goes commercial

(Originally published in the 2/14/16 edition. A correction was made regarding the date of the event)

   In just three short years, Whipt Baked Goods has grown from a small mom-and-pop organization to the place where people from all over come to have cookies designed for their big events. 
   Whipt became open for business following the enactment of Assembly Bill 1616, which went into effect on Jan. 1, 2013. The bill allows people to prepare non-hazardous food items in their kitchens to be labeled as “Cottage Food Operations.”
   A few months later, local mother of three Krizy Osada registered her business with the Solano County Department of Health and Social Services, making Whipt the first CFO in the county. Osada initially intended for the business to be something she did on the side as she raised her children with plans to return to school for a master’s in education, but Whipt ended up doing so well that it now operates as a commercial bakery. 
   “We initially started out by vending at local events,” Osada said. “But then a buzz happened and people started hearing about us. We just got really busy with our private orders.” 
   Whipt offers a variety of treats, including cookies, cupcakes and shortbread, but Osada says what distinguishes the treats is the fact that the ingredients are organic, sourced locally and do not contain GMOs. 
   “We have an organic flour mill from a local organic company, as well as our chocolates which are produced here in the Bay Area,” she said. 
   The store also has vegan and gluten free options as well as ingredients like cage free eggs and organic cream-top milk. Whipt’s specialty is the Whipt Original Cookie Cake, which is a two and a half-inch diameter circle with a frosty center encased in a crunchy shell.
   “The texture itself is something that one would want to sink their teeth into,” Osada said. 
   In addition, Whipt also utilizes photo-quality edible graphic options that clients can put on their cookies for events like birthdays, weddings and company promotions. The business has a will call window where customers can pick up their treats by appointment, or they can have the items shipped to them.
   “Our clients come to us and basically get their picture or logo on our Whipt products,” Osada said. 
   Currently, Osada says, the designs are all chosen by the clients, but Whipt is looking to revamp its website to include a catalog of custom designs for special occasions throughout the year. Designs chosen by past customers include an array of cupcakes embroidered with the Disney princesses and another set of cookie cakes featuring the covers of famous hip-hop albums, including Nas’ “Illmatic” and A Tribe Called Quest’s “The Low End Theory.”
   Osada said the designs often draw a strong emotional response out of clients.
   “I have met with customers in public, and they have admitted to me ‘I had to save that cookie. I never ate it,’” she said. “Some people have told me that they’re collecting my cookies almost like they’re collector’s items. I’m like ‘No, you have to eat them because they’re delicious.’”
   Osada attributes much of the growth of her company to social media, particularly Facebook and Instagram. 
   “There’s a lot of power in social media,” she said. “People will see a picture, they’ll like it, their friends will see them like it, and then they’ll learn about it that way and want to order.”
   Osada is very happy for how her business has thrived.
   “We’ve grown from this mom-and-pop baking company that didn’t even really have a vision for serving people outside our community, but we have orders coming in from L.A., New York and all across the country,” she said. 
   An event will be held from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 21 where members of the community can stop by and enjoy complimentary milk and cookies. The event is free and open to the public. Whipt Baked Goods is located at 1440 E Second St. For more information, call 742-3215. 


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