Dallas-Fort Worth vegan cookie startup wins award for being so Frankly Good
There is possibly not a more aptly named business than Frankly Good, a Dallas-Fort Worth cookie startup from a guy named Frank.
Frankly Good was founded in 2019 by Frank Ridout, a student at the University of Texas at Arlington, who adopted a plant-based diet but still had a "major sweet tooth." He partnered with his mother Andrea Ridout, who had extensive entrepreneurial experience and could lend advice on how to turn it into a business.
The company started as a sideline but, between farmers markets sales and a healthy online ordering business, has blossomed into a viable full-time venture.
In addition, Frank was recently chosen as a winner in The University of Texas at Arlington's MavPitch competition and was awarded a $15,000 grant. Six winning teams were chosen out of more than 90 competitors.
"As far as we know, Frankly Good is the first vegan business to win the award," says Andrea. All of the winners will go on to compete for an additional $25,000 grant in August.
They have cookies, cookie dough, brittle, and candied pecans. Their goods are mostly organic and their packaging is made from sugar cane so it's compostable.
They have a nutty chocolate chip with big chunks of chocolate, and brittle that they say is "quite good." A six-pack of cookies is $8, and a tray of a dozen cookie dough balls is $12.
Making vegan versions of cakes and muffins isn't too hard, but vegan cookies are a challenge. In a cookie, you want a little crispiness on the outside but soft inside, and Ridout says he has pretty much figured it out, especially on his signature ginger rosemary cookie.
"It's one of our most popular cookies," he says. "It's chewy on the inside and crunchy as you get out to the edge. It's a molasses cookie that was my grandma's recipe which we modified to make vegan. We add rosemary that we grow in the garden."
Since they sell a locally made product, they're a big hit at farmers markets, and are planning to return to that realm in 2020. They've just signed on with the Farmers Market of Grapevine, where they'll have packaged chocolate chip cookies for sale every day. Or you can order from the website and get their goods shipped to your home.
About half of their sales are through food delivery services such as Profound Foods, Turn, and À Table. They bake their goods in a commercial kitchen they rent in East Dallas.
"I didn't expect to make money so much as I was doing it for the experience," Frank says. "Being vegan myself, I though it was a way I could spread the word of the benefits of that kind of eating."