Tscookies Posted 23 Jan 2007 , 2:17pm
post #1 of

I've seen a lot of curiosity about COOKIES BY DESIGN. I was thinking we should start a thread to post things we know about this company. I'd love for this thread to grow with info from anyone who may have worked for the company or knows how they do things.

Anyone with some info to share ???

130 replies
Tscookies Posted 23 Jan 2007 , 2:20pm
post #2 of

I personally am very interested in knowing how they get their designs to look so perfect. Do they use a projector, stencils, or what? I am always so blown away with their ideas and how well they execute their designs.

Although sometimes I think their website pictures look amazing, and then when I go window shopping at one of their stores I think to myself that they look amateurish. The pros probably decorate for their web pictures, and then it's up to the individual skill level of each franchise to make their cookies look as good.

I have to say that I think the taste of their cookies has improved recently. My son brought one home from a party - and I couldn't stop eating it. I thought it was delicious. That was not the case many years ago - I used to think they tasted way too bland. People are always offering me their opinions and 9 times out of 10, they say they wouldn't eat their cookies - either because of taste and/or they're too thick. I always smile, however, and try to be as polite and professional as possible.

jstritt Posted 23 Jan 2007 , 9:10pm
post #3 of

I will say that I used to work for a C by D, and I was required to sign a privacy statement to insure I would not share any secrets of the company. I'm not sure if that was just while I was working there or if it still applies.

acookieobsession Posted 23 Jan 2007 , 9:16pm
post #4 of

Normally a privacy agreement or non-compete agreement lasts for a specific period of time. It can be any length of time though. I think I remember someone telling me there was a 2 year non-compete disclosure they have to sign.

Thanks Julia

edited because apparently I can not type today!

noreen816 Posted 23 Jan 2007 , 9:19pm
post #5 of

jstritt, im sure that rule no longer applies!! haha, start spilling...

jstritt Posted 23 Jan 2007 , 9:20pm
post #6 of

It's been longer than 2 years, so if this was the length of the agreement, then maybe I can share. Hmmm... icon_rolleyes.gif

tayesmama Posted 23 Jan 2007 , 10:31pm
post #7 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by jstritt

It's been longer than 2 years, so if this was the length of the agreement, then maybe I can share. Hmmm... icon_rolleyes.gif


OOOO, yes, please do. LOL

jstritt Posted 23 Jan 2007 , 10:48pm
post #8 of

I will check on the privacy agreement thing, but in the meantime, I will tell you that there are not that many great secrets. Just a few little tricks. I will let you know more when I know more!!! Don't want to get sued or anything.

cambo Posted 25 Jan 2007 , 6:04am
post #9 of

Can't believe I stumbled upon this thread! I was talking to a neighbor today (who recently moved here from CA) and her daughter's last job in CA was in a CbyD. I asked her daughter about the secrets and she would not divulge (and I can understand). She said her non-compete was for 2 years also. So, jstritt, please share if you can (after you find out about your non-compete term).

JoanneK Posted 25 Jan 2007 , 6:11am

Maybe the people who worked there don't want to tell the info because then they can be part of a small group that can decorate cookies just like them and no one else can?????

cambo Posted 25 Jan 2007 , 1:17pm

And....to add to what JoanneK stated, my neighbors daughter worked there for 4 years and I believe feels very loyal to them....she loved her job. So, if it would at all make you feel at all uncomfortable to reveal any information, I respect that and please don't reveal!

mbalis Posted 26 Jan 2007 , 7:45pm

I was at a party last summer and they had one of their bouquet's there. Ick is all I can say. They were way too thick, and were also sloppily decorated. I guess they're only as good as the individual store they came from.

GeminiRJ Posted 27 Jan 2007 , 9:23pm

Is this a chain store, or something local? I hate to admit it, but I've never heard of them before. I'm going to feel REALLY stupid if we have one in Omaha!

lauramw71 Posted 28 Jan 2007 , 2:16am

Gemini, yeah they're a franchise. you can check out their site at www.cookiesbydesign.com.

ONLY thing I know about them is they are ASTRONOMICALLY expensive! Like OMG expensive. LOL
I've never had them but would kinda like to get a bouquet just to dissect it lol

qtkaylassweets Posted 28 Jan 2007 , 2:26am

Does anyone know how they make the tissue papper look soooooo perfect??? icon_cry.gif

nglez09 Posted 28 Jan 2007 , 2:32am

Where are the stores located? Those cookies look good. . .(pun intended) icon_lol.gif

SophieBelle Posted 28 Jan 2007 , 2:37am

I think theystack two or more large squares of tissue paper and wrap the center around a dowel or stick. The top gets puffed around then you can just tuck the paper right down in between the cookies. You can put a dab of glue on the end before tucking it in so that it sticks to the styrofoam and stays where you want it. Very fussy and particular but it looks nice and professional that way.

nefgaby Posted 28 Jan 2007 , 2:54am
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeminiRJ

Is this a chain store, or something local? I hate to admit it, but I've never heard of them before. I'm going to feel REALLY stupid if we have one in Omaha!




Hi,
I was just curious so i checked your city for a store, here is the link.
http://www.cookiesbydesign.com/shoppelocator.aspx
Check it out... thumbs_up.gificon_biggrin.gif

edited to add
Cookies By Design
14150 West Center Rd.
Omaha, NE 68144
PHONE: (402) 758-0101
TOLL-FREE: (877) 986-9861
FAX: (402) 758-0505

jstritt Posted 30 Jan 2007 , 4:16pm

I loved working at C by D, but I am not necessarily loyal to them. I tried to check on the non compete thing, but the store I worked for has since closed. I assume that my noncompete was for two years. If others say that is what theirs was, then I'm sure mine was too. Being a franchise, everything is pretty standard.

I worked there from 2002-2003, so it has been more than two years.

What are you curious about? I will tell you that there are no great mysteries to how they do stuff.

Tscookies Posted 30 Jan 2007 , 4:25pm

Yeah! Thanks for sharing. I have a couple of questions.

First, any tips/tricks to getting designs to look so perfectly? Is it all done free hand or how?

Second, I was going to ask about the kind of volume they did, but since the store closed - I'm assuming not enough. How did they manage during the busy seasonal times? Did they have extra help?

I'm sure I'll think of more ?? later.

dawnell Posted 30 Jan 2007 , 4:28pm

Are the cookies they make close to the NFSC recipe on this web site? I love the the white picket fence they use is that something you made at the store or something they ordered from another company?

jstritt Posted 30 Jan 2007 , 4:40pm

I never made the cookies myself. The lady that baked the cookies was the store owner's mother and she didn's speak a word of English, so we never talked because I don't speak a word of Spanish (other than counting to 100) thumbs_up.gif . I am pretty sure it was just a typical sugar cookie dough similar to NFSC on here. Pretty thick though.

Designs were freehand, unless I couldn't do something. Then I would use the pinprick method. Copywrighted materials had to use stencils.
Decorated cookies could be frozen, but they came out with a more matte finish than freshly decorated cookies.

I don't know why they think they have to hold their secrets under lock and key. There are really no secrets, becuase everything I learned there, I have seen here on cake central. I've got news for C by D, their "secrets" are out and have been out for a long time.

The one thing that does puzzle me is the icing. I never made it from scratch, so I'm not sure how it was made (premade was also used). I know it had to be a hybrid of buttercream and royal. It dries hard but has a buttercream texture and taste. I think I have seen a recipe on here that uses butter in a form of royal icing. Probably super similar to that.

As for volume, it totally depends on where the store is at, how the store markets the product, and the demand for the product. The cookies are so expensive probably because the owners have to cover their costs, make and profit, and pay franchise fees.

gidgetsmom Posted 30 Jan 2007 , 11:12pm

I worked for a company that uses them a lot and I've also ordered/seen things from Houston and Louisiana. I have seen LOTS of the bouquets as a result and I can honestly say I've never seen one as perfect as the pictures. That's not to say some of them weren't wonderful - some of them were very poorly done - most were somewhere in between. It depends on who's doing the decorating.

It would be interesting to get the scoop on the icing though...

cookiecreations Posted 31 Jan 2007 , 12:01am
Quote:
Originally Posted by gidgetsmom

I worked for a company that uses them a lot and I've also ordered/seen things from Houston and Louisiana. I have seen LOTS of the bouquets as a result and I can honestly say I've never seen one as perfect as the pictures. That's not to say some of them weren't wonderful - some of them were very poorly done - most were somewhere in between. It depends on who's doing the decorating.




I'm so curious as to how they train the decorators, does anyone know? Do they have an experienced decorator that comes in, do they send employees to a central location, train at a franchise location, etc? Better yet, what about when a new design is created?? icon_confused.gif Afterall, I'm assuming that regardless of all the franchise locations across the US, all the cookies have to be decorated exactly the same way, right?

GeminiRJ Posted 31 Jan 2007 , 12:52pm

Thanks nefgaby. I, too, looked to see if there was a CbyD in Omaha, and wouldn't you know it, there is! I'm not real familiar with that area, but I remember there being a cookie shop in the strip mall, though not a CbyD. When I'm out and about, I plan to stop in.

jstritt Posted 31 Jan 2007 , 8:43pm

Franchisees are trained and then in turn train their employees. You pretty much just look at the picture and go for it! That's why some are so poorly decorated. No "formal" training for employees, just on the job training.

Tscookies Posted 31 Jan 2007 , 8:48pm

I'm wondering how long their cookies stay fresh?

Did you get to eat many of them? I've noticed that with a homemade sugar cookie recipe - they can taste differently depending on if they're 1 day old, 3 days old or a week old. Would you say the CbD cookies taste the same once they're baked, or could you notice any changes as time went by?

Tscookies Posted 31 Jan 2007 , 8:50pm

That's interesting to hear about their training (or lack of) ... I thought I had once heard they had some kind of 'cookie university.'

cookiecreations Posted 31 Jan 2007 , 9:56pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tscookies

That's interesting to hear about their training (or lack of) ... I thought I had once heard they had some kind of 'cookie university.'




That's what I thought I heard as well a few years ago. icon_confused.gif

jstritt Posted 31 Jan 2007 , 10:04pm

the owners go to "Cookie College"

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