The Cookie Department

Keto cookies inspired by a husband's love for his medically challenged wife.

Last Funded April 2019


raised from 146 investors


Available in 386 GNC locations in 44 states
Featured on HGTV's Self Made Mansions
Designated as an "Amazon's Choice" product.
E-Commerce sales up 188% YTD

Our Team

My wife has had an arduous healing journey from debilitating traumatic brain injuries. On the Dr. prescribed ketogenic diet, her blood sugar stabilized, and nerve pain and brain fog have decreased. I bake treats that allow her to indulge while also taking good care of her body. As keto has exploded, we've brought them to market for others to enjoy.

The lightbulb moment

Back in 2009, I was sitting at a coffee shop and observed as patron after patron purchased a cookie or baked good along with a cup of coffee. I wondered about the possibility of combining the two, to create a caffeinated cookie. My mom is an amazing baker, so her kitchen, with her help was a great place to test the concept. After over 60 trial and error batches, we finally perfected what would become the signature cookie. 

So, the Awaken Baked was born, and I started selling to 5 or so local coffee shops. As my little passion project grew, my mom's kitchen was no longer sufficient for baking, so I made an arrangement with my cousin who owns an artisan bread bakery in Berkeley, CA. During the day I was a Bakery Sales Manager, at night I baked 20 dozen or so Awaken Baked cookies and in the early mornings, I delivered the cookies to my handful of local customers.

Gaining traction

Over the next 2 years, I created 2 additional cookie flavors and it became apparent that I needed to better leverage my time and energy. I decided to try making our cookies packaged, instead of daily baked. I picked up some cellophane envelopes and had some stickers printed. 

I went to a movie theater, a college campus, and climbing gyms in Berkeley and Oakland, CA, testing out what kind of sales I could generate. I was starting to have some solid traction with the packaged cookie model, so I needed a financial boost to break into a larger  market. At this point I was still doing all the baking myself, as well as the packaging and delivery. To invest everything I could into my venture, I moved back into my parents home and sold my car to buy a used delivery van, which I had wrapped with the company logo.

I did a small friends and family investment round that I used to buy my own packaging machine. I also transitioned from baking the cookies myself to using a contract bakery in San Francisco and launched several more SKUs, 6 in total at one point.

After extensive solicitation everywhere I could think of, a break came. I was invited to participate in a Google food fair, and our cookies were accepted into the Mountain View Google campus as a free snack offering for their employees. We had become a budding foodservice and alternative distribution business, focusing on more tech companies, gyms, juice bars, movie theaters, college campuses, and hotels. We also got a contract with Spirit Airlines to sell our cookies as part of a snack box on their airplanes. 

Consumer demand for low sugar, low carb snacks

As the saying goes, "when you're not growing, you're dying", and although we've spent years trying to compete in the functional cookie space, we've encountered various growth-inhibiting challenges. Among them has been the growing customer demand for lower sugar, lower carbohydrate snack options. Although 30% of the sugar in our classic line is  derived from dates rather than evaporated cane sugar, these cookies still contain over 20g of sugar per cookie, thus limiting our target market.

As leading grocery, convenience and meal plan companies are beginning to dedicate entire sections to ketogenic friendly products, and "ketogenic" was the number one google-searched diet of 2018 and 2019 with explosive industry growth projections, in August, 2019 we launched 2 Ketogenic friendly, gluten-free cookies that contain only 1 gram of sugar and 3-4 net carbs. 

Keto is personal

My wife has had an arduous healing journey from debilitating traumatic brain injuries. On the Dr. prescribed ketogenic diet, her blood sugar has stabilized, and nerve pain and brain fog have decreased. I've been baking treats that allow her to indulge while also taking good care of her body for years, and now others can also enjoy these goodies. And our growth since launching this line demonstrates that not only do people like these cookies, but the more people are exposed to them, the larger our customer base becomes. Many testimonials claim we produce the best keto cookies on the market!

The shift The Cookie Department needed

At the end of 2019 we had 7 SKUs and our e-commerce sales were skyrocketing  Amazon sales up nearly XXXXXX, and we were averaging 1-2 new retail parters every day. We were off to the races!

And then Covid hit... But we're still here! 

Our keto powered exponential growth slowed considerably as our manufacturer shut for 4 of the first 8 months of the Pandemic, we experienced significant supply chain delays,  around 80% of our wholesale customers temporarily shut their doors and grocery buyers put a freeze on reviewing new items. Yet, despite the challenges,  as so many small business have faced ruin due to covid, we've been blessed to survive with projections for significant growth in 2021.