Postcards From The Kitchen: Erica Rankin, founder of Bro Dough
If you’re hungry for cookie dough you can eat straight from the freezer, you’ve come to the right place.
There’s a freezer full of cookie dough in Erica Rankin’s living room. That’s the life of an entrepreneur! Erica is the founder of the Toronto-based Bro Dough, and her cookie dough journey began as a bodybuilder.
“When I was competing as a body-builder, I had to break up with a lot of my favorite treats,” she says. “I couldn’t eat cake. I couldn’t eat chips. And I have a huge sweet tooth. I started making my own cookie dough, adding protein, removing sugar, making it plant-based, with cleaner ingredients.”
She posted recipes, and people started making it for themselves and loving every bite.
When Erica looked for opportunities as an entrepreneur, she recognized that there was no better-for-you-cookie-dough in the Canadian market. Her products and packaging have been through several evolutions, and she’s starting to eye the American market.
“I had all this excitement from America,” she says, “but I couldn’t sell to America because of the challenges shipping frozen products to the US.”
With that challenge, Erica started creating a shelf-stable product with a U.S.-based manufacturer. She went to the food lab, watched the whole process,
and is finalizing her formula, which will be available to both Canadians and Americans. That’s her next growth opportunity.
What’s the best way to eat Bro Dough?Straight from the tub!
“The biggest issue with most cookie dough is that the raw flour can contain bacteria like e.coli. But we don’t use eggs and I use a special flour that doesn’t have any bacteria in it.
Some people roll it into balls, and they put them in the freezer. Some people microwave it or put it on things like pancakes or in their oatmeal. I’ve even seen some people put it in a waffle press.” The dough can be baked, and the cookies are crunchy, not chewy.
“I tell people they should just pop it in the microwave and then mix that gooey dough with ice cream. If you have like a super big sweet tooth, that’s the best combo. That’s how I eat it.”
Much of Erica’s success can be attributed to marketing and a great personal brand. “People want to know who’s the face behind the business, right?” she says. “By bringing your own personality to your brand, you’re adding emotion and connecting with your customers in a human way.”
Erica has especially found success on LinkedIn, where Patrick Sinclair, the Road to 100 guy, first connected the two of us. “I originally went on LinkedIn for mentorship,” she says, “because I didn’t know how to grow my business. I love my friends, and I love my family, but none of them are entrepreneurs. I had to find people who had done what I was doing, and the only place to go was LinkedIn.”
She began sharing the real story behind the entrepreneurial journey – not just the bright spots – to encourage other new founders who think everyone else already has it figured out. “I decided to put everything out there and build this brand in public,” she says.
Here's the shelf-stable option the U.S. fans have been waiting for!