One of this year’s tastiest food trends is edible cookie dough. One could argue that cookie dough was always edible, but the term refers to the use of heat treated flour that eliminates bacteria and pasteurized eggs to reduce the risk of food-borne illness. It’s likely something you never thought about as a kid when you scraped the cake batter or cookie dough bowl clean while mom did all the baking. If you’re reading this in 2017, eating all that dough didn’t harm you one bit, and you’ve seen a cookie dough resurgence in the U.S.—in “edible” form, of course—at supermarkets, dessert shops, and food trucks. In Colchester, Connecticut, there’s a sweet shop that’s dedicated to cookie dough and other cookie dough related sundaes, milkshakes, and pies. It's called DoughLuv.
DoughLuv opened this past Memorial Day and was created by the husband and wife team of Kevin and Dawn Whitcher, both of whom have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Kevin, who served eight years in the Navy, worked in the corporate world, but he and his wife decided they wanted to do their own thing and later moved onto real estate and flipping houses. When a commercial space became available, Kevin said, “I looked at my wife and asked her ‘You wanna do something different?’ and DoughLuv was born.”
We caught up with Kevin to get the sweet scoop on DoughLuv, New England’s only cookie dough café.
Of all businesses you could possibly get into…why cookie dough?
Cookie dough is a different dessert. Every town has its own ice cream shop, and being that we live our lives doing things differently, cookie dough came up as an excellent product. It doesn’t melt in the summertime and it’s not too cold to eat in winter. Most of what we do are from grandma’s old recipes that we tinkered with a bit.
What makes your dough so edible?
We use heat-treated flour and pasteurized egg whites, making it safe to eat. I’ve been eating cookie dough my whole life and I’m still here!
Me too! Also, still here!
It’d be bad for business if we didn’t do it the right way. It tastes the same, it tastes like you scooped your finger around the bowl, and that’s what we wanna give everyone, that right-out-of-the-mixing-bowl experience.
What are your best sellers?
Always going to be chocolate chip. Everyone knows it, everyone loves it. Brownie batter is also popular and lately it has been sugar cookie, which we decorate according to the season; at Thanksgiving it was brown, orange, and red, and now that it’s Christmas we’ve got red, green, and edible snowflakes and Christmas trees in it.
You’ve made 45-50 cookie dough flavors in total. What are some specials that you’ve rolled out?
We have our five regular flavors; chocolate chip, naked (choco chip minus the chips), peanut butter, brownie batter, and sugar cookie. We’ll add new ones depending how we’re feeling that day, and specials often sell out. Right now we’re doing ginger snap, peppermint brownie, and cranberry white chocolate vanilla for the holidays. We’ve even done a bourbon-bacon dough!
And you do sundaes, pies, and coffee!
Our coffee comes from a family owned business out of Newington, CT, called Saccuzzo Coffee. Marco, who runs the place, has been good to us, and we drink his coffee at home. For the sundaes we use scoops of our five standard flavors and put toppings on them. For the S’mores Sundae we use our chocolate chip dough, marshmallows, chocolate sauce, Graham crackers.
No ice cream in the “sundaes?”
One does. In our Mocha Chip we use coffee ice cream.
Our pies are basically just cookie dough crust, filled with ice cream, topped with whipped cream and toppings, but they’re customizable. If you want something, we’ll do it. It’s funny, our pies have replaced a lot of birthday cakes in Colchester! We also do something called a Dough Shake; our cookie dough blended with ice cream, any toppings you want, and another scoop of cookie dough on top! You have to eat ‘em with both a spoon and a straw!
We think it’s cool that you cater to dietary needs too (vegan and gluten-free cookie dough).
It was a challenge at first. I wanted to make sure when families go out, that everyone can have something, so they don’t have to go to a different place for dessert.
You also have dough for pets!
It’s all natural, actually a recipe from my veterinarian! It’s peanut butter-based with oats, oil, and applesauce.
If people are curious about you and they’re nowhere near Colchester, is there shipping available?
Not at this moment. Our goal is to serve the dough as fresh as possible. Everything is from scratch, no preservatives or flavorings, so it’s best consumed right away.
You’re opening a second location in Holyoke, MA (Holyoke Mall, opened Dec. 8). What else is happening in the coming months?
The goal is to ultimately franchise DoughLuv. After the mall opening we’re planning to put together franchise packages and open it up to other markets.
We also bought a 1750’s farmhouse on 3.5 acres in Lebanon, CT (where the couple is from, then moved back there to raise their children) that sat there doing nothing for 15 years and we’re turning that into a café/wine bar/microbrewery. When I flipped houses, I enjoyed restoring them and bringing them back to glory so we’re going to do the same thing with our restaurant. We’re hoping to start construction on it at the start of 2018 with hopes to open it by the summer.
It’s all very exciting. It’s a mystery, but we’re optimistic about the future!
24 Norwich Avenue; Colchester
DoughLuv at the Holyoke Mall at Ingleside
50 Holyoke Street; Holyoke, MA