The Cravory, a Poway-headquartered cookie company that has handcrafted over 5,000 unique flavors to date, continues to see sales surge.
Collin Smith, cookie monster, vice president of sales, wholesale & business development, said the company’s revenue reached well over $3 million in 2021; the wholesale division, which includes corporate and resale/wholesale, grew 48%, and e-commerce was up 43% compared to the previous year.
In 2022, The Cravory is expecting to grow its annual revenue another 60%, he said.
120 Customers a Day
“We were really scared at the beginning of COVID-19 – we used to see 120 customers a day at the stores. But in March 2020, we saw 10 customers in a two-week span,” said Smith, who started with the company in 2015.
“We opened our first store in Point Loma in 2014 and that’s when the spark lit – we knew we had something,” Smith said. “So, in 2015, I moved out here and began the wholesale and corporate departments. That immediately doubled our sales. We now have 120 wholesale contracts. Having someone with feet on the pavement really increased our growth opportunities.”
“But the biggest growth was as a result of the pandemic,” he continued. “We pivoted and began to focus on our online store. We had already launched Amazon in 2019 and the website was strong but we hadn’t put money behind the marketing. So, we put advertising dollars behind Facebook and Instagram and it worked.”
With the vaccine rollout, The Cravory started to see a bounce back in its Point Loma store, said Smith, although the leadership team opted to close the Carlsbad location.
In August of this year, the company opened a second shop near the campus of San Diego State University, he said. Not to mention, the company opened two booths inside Petco Park during the first season last year as part of a two-year contract, Smith added — a partnership he is most inspired by. “I’m really excited to see the opportunity there,” he said.
The Cravory was founded in 2009 when three friends who attended the University of Arizona moved out to San Diego with an idea to create a build-your-own cookie concept, said Smith. They kicked things off at local farmer’s markets, he said, selling combinations of different doughs, mix-ins and toppings that were baked at different temperatures.
As the product gained in popularity, the company began to sell cookies on TheCravory.com and started shipping nationwide shortly after, said Smith.
Over the last 12 years, The Cravory made more than 5,000 different flavors, including rosemary balsamic, pancakes and bacon, sweet lemon bar, oreo churro, red velvet cookies and mango con chile.
Since launching, two of the original founders left the company, said Smith, but the third, Nate Ransom, remains as founder and CEO.
In 2015, Smith joined the company as a minority owner and cookie monster, vice president of sales, wholesale & business development. Eddie Sidi and wife Takita Koppe, executive chef and executive chef/cookie goddess, respectively, are also co-owners.
“Over the last 10 years, our focus has been on organic growth,” said Ransom. “We started selling the cookies at local farmers markets and have slowly expanded into retail, wholesale and online. Over the next few years, we plan to expand our facilities, grow our wholesale business and introduce new and innovative product lines.”
Soft in the Center
Earlier this year, The Cravory appeared twice on QVC, the shopping television station, where it sold thousands of cookies in two separate 24-hour increments, said Smith.
The trajectory of sales continues upward, he said.
“It’s the craft of the cookies, the unique flavor profile, the care we put into each cookie,” he said about The Cravory’s appeal. “There are tons of cookies in San Diego and nationwide. But for the most part, they are made with generic dough and just add-in different toppings.”
“For me, I love how creative we are with it,” Smith continued. “Every dough is completely unique. We use King Arthur flour, Belgium chocolates, no preservatives. We add mix-ins and we bake at different temperatures. A cookie that is soft in the center and crispy on the edges is where it is at — that is what differentiates us.”
CEO: Nate Ransom
BUSINESS: Cookie company
REVENUE: Upward of $3M annually; expected to increase by 60% in 2022
NOTABLE: Business plan started as a school project.