Grand Blanc Twp., MI–Jessica McGuire founded We’reDough not just out of a love for baking, but as a means of switching careers.
“I have an industrial engineering degree from Kettering, but I couldn’t find another engineering job,” she said. “I was tired of corporate stuff controlling my life. I’ve always loved baking as a hobby, so I decided to try and pursue owning my own business.”
McGuire stumbled upon edible cookie dough, and realized there was potential to focus her bakery around the idea.
“There wasn’t anywhere around here to get edible cookie dough,” she said. “There are places in Rochester and Grand Rapids, but I realized there wasn’t one in Flint.”
Located about a half-mile south of Flint’s southern border on Fenton Road, We’reDough officially opened up on June 27. The bakery offers a wide variety of products: edible cookie dough, baked cookies, muffins, ice cream, breads, and more, all of which come in a multitude of different flavors. Their primary product, edible cookie dough, is served similarly to ice cream–purchased in scoops or pints, served with a spoon, and ready to eat.
McGuire said the first few weeks of opening were especially demanding while they found their footing. “I was doing everything myself,” she said. “I was baking everything and running everything by myself. It was a lot crazier in the beginning.”
Unfortunately, things started to look grim just a few months into McGuire’s new career journey. On October 8th, the We’reDough Facebook page shared a brutally honest post stating that they would be potentially closing by the end of October. In the post they said that they were experiencing large losses from reduced customers coming in, and that they had no personal funds left to keep the business going.
“Help us go out with a bang,” they posted, fully expecting the worst outcome, but then clarified at the end with a glimmer of hope: “It is possible for the bakery to survive, but we are going to need a lot of help and a lot of people coming in every day.” The post ended with a photo of McGuire excitedly standing in front of their building just a year ago when they received the lease.
McGuire said this was a last-ditch effort to stay open.
“I’m an honest person,” she said. “I’ve always been up front on social media with how things are going. I said, ‘If you don’t bring in your friends and your friend’s friends, we’re not going to make it.’”
What followed was an immense outpouring of support from the community. Their post gained traction on social media, and that weekend We’reDough completely sold out of cookies and saw lines of customers wrapped around their building. Days later, they announced that this boost of support was enough to stay open, and began expanding their staff to meet their new demands. McGuire said they were blown away, and thanked the community for their outpouring of love and support.
“The community as a whole showed up and helped us out, and now we’re doing a week’s worth of business per day,” said McGuire. “Just yesterday we sold probably around eight hundred cookies, and that’s not to mention the muffins, cookie dough, ice cream, or anything else.”
McGuire said their team is now baking three to four times as much product as before and is hiring more employees to keep up with their newfound support.
“The number one thing I’ve told people who are trying to run a small business is: don’t be afraid to ask for help,” said McGuire. In addition to their post on social media laying bare their situation and asking for community support, McGuire said they have also received guidance from a small business development center at Kettering that got them in touch with a marketing expert to help move forward.
“As a small business owner, you might try and shoulder everything yourself, but one thing I’m learning is that you can’t do that,” she said. “There’s going to be some things you can’t do, and you have to find someone that can do what you can’t.”
We’reDough has a number of plans on the horizon. One is to add a demonstration mixing station in the front of the building so customers can see products being made while they wait in line. McGuire also said they would like to add pies to their list of products, but said they are still working on the timeline for when they will be available.
Other future plans include special seasonal promotions, including gift card sales and holiday kits as well as seasonal flavors. McGuire said they will be announcing the details on these in the near future.
We’Dough is located at 5349 Fenton Road.