Photo and story by Emma Demonbreun / Contributing Writer
Nashville is a city of many trades, but recent Belmont graduate Megan Beaven noticed that the ever-growing city was missing out on a growing trend: edible cookie dough.
And so No Baked Cookie Dough was born, the Louisville, Kentucky, native’s dessert business that specializes in cookie dough made without eggs so that it can be consumed raw without a second thought. The business started while Beaven was working a full-time job in the music industry after graduating with a degree in music business. When she realized that she wanted more control over her career, she decided to capitalize on a trend she was seeing on social media and in the news.
“I knew nobody else was doing it in Nashville,” Beaven said. Reaching out to influencers is always a great marketing idea, as they have such huge followings of potential customers that you could benefit from.
Since she began her startup, Beaven has used social media to turn her hobby of making edible cookie dough into a successful Nashville business. She now sells the cookie dough at pop-up shops in Nashville and Louisville every weekend.
She already had a cookie dough recipe she’d been making for herself and her friends since her freshman year of college, so she started spending her lunch breaks creating a website to sell it online which she thought would be a good place to start for promoting her business. Before launching the site, she reached out to local Instagram influencers, offering free samples in exchange for positive posts about her product.
“I knew that my target audience was going to be people like me … so I looked for Instagram influencers that had that type of following,” Beaven said. Reaching out to influencers is always a great marketing idea, as they have such huge followings of potential customers, that you could benefit from.
Several social media accounts posted about the cookie dough, generating online sales, and within a week of launching the No Baked website, Beaven was able to quit her job to pursue her new dream full-time.
“I started getting messages asking me to actually come and sell the cookie dough in person,” Beaven said.
With the rise of dessert shops in Nashville, there is a growing need for business owners to create unique products.
“I think my product is just so special because … I’m really the only place that you can buy it,” Beaven said.
Beaven continues to use social media in place of traditional advertising methods.
“It’s been a huge learning experience with social media, but it’s just so easy for people to notice things on social media,” Beaven said.
Beaven now has her sights set on opening a storefront near Centennial Park at 117 28th Avenue North in Nashville. The grand opening is scheduled for late October.
Beaven’s advice to young entrepreneurs is to avoid societal pressure to settle down immediately after graduation. She encourages college students to be creative and start businesses rather than settling for the first job that comes along.
For more information and updates about No Baked, or to locate the next pop-up shop location, follow @nobaked on Instagram and Twitter or visit www.nobakedcookiedough.com.
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