On the up · 13 March 2017

Blondies Kitchen: A cookie bar offering hungry Londoners something different

Milk and cookie bar
The inspiration for Blondies Kitchen came from a hole in the wall cookie vendor in New York

In less than a year of trading, trained chefs Chelsie Collins and Kristelle Levy have already made a name for their New York-inspired milk and cookie bar, Blondies Kitchen.

Since their first pop up at London’s Old Street, the duo have rapidly gained recognition for offering unique and creative treats and successfully added a catering arm to the business.

Business Advice caught up with Collins to find out how two female founders were able to unearth the capital’s sweet tooth and establish themselves so quickly in a male-dominated industry.

(1) Who are you and what’s your business?

We are Blondies Kitchen. I am Chelsie and my partner is Kristelle. We run a successful bespoke catering business and were the first to launch a milk and cookie bar in the UK.

(2) How long have you been around for?

We started our business ten months ago and haven’t looked back since.

(3) How do you make money?

We put on bespoke catered events for clients in their homes or at larger venues.

We also run pop-up milk and cookie bars and we are excited to announce we are launching our next one in Selfridges food hall from 1 May 2017.

Milk and cookie bar
The pop up also serves almond milk and gluten-free cookies

(4) What makes you different and why should people take notice?

Well, we are the only pop-up milk and cookie bar in the UK at the moment. We sell ridiculously good chewy, soft cookies (if I do say so myself), and a variety of milk, including our cereal milk.

We will definitely put a smile on your face.

(5) What was key in terms of getting started?

It was important that myself and Kristelle had the same long term plan and goals in mind. We both made sure we wanted the same things from the word go, so we could then go and chase our dream. Persistence is key.

(6) What’s your biggest achievement to date?

We both still laugh in shock (we tend to get a nervous laugh a lot) at the time we sold out of 700 cookies by lunch time at our first pop-up in Old Street station.

We were so overwhelmed at how popular our cookies were – it was a real eye opener that we were onto something.

(7) What setbacks have you had along the way?

Every startup has its setbacks, it’s the nature of the beast. We are constantly learning and that often means learning from our mistakes. Our hardest times have been when we don’t have enough money in the bank to pay for things upfront.

You need a constant cash flow to buy in bulk, and as we haven’t had any investment or help, we don’t always have the funds to do it.

Milk and cookie bar
The milk and cookie bar is the first of its kind in London

(8) In five years’ time, we will be…

Hopefully in a permanent location with our milk and cookie bar, spreading the Blondies Kitchen love far and wide!

(9) What one tip would you give to others starting out?

Just do it. If you don’t take the risk you’ll never know.

(10) Who are your business heroes and why?

We really respect and admire Jamie Oliver. He built an incredible brand around himself and has changed so many aspects of the food industry forever. That’s heroic.

Meet the inspiring British street food vendors who found success through their unique approach.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Simon Caldwell is a reporter for Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and communications from the University of Liverpool, and previously worked as a content editor in the ecommerce industry.

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