How to Build Business Success in a Recessed Economy

Less than a year ago, I interviewed young entrepreneurs making it big in San Diego with their fabulous cookies. 410 Degrees is the name of their company (named for the temperature at which they bake). Successful is the status of their company (one of few that are doing so well in the current economy). I asked Adam Koven, business manager and one of the owners, to share his secrets for sweet success in soured times.

Lorraine: Hello, Adam. Thank you for taking time out from raking it in from your new business for this interview. If you haven’t noticed, we’re in a deeply recessed, if not depressed, economy. What made you think you could make a ‘go’ of a brand new business in this environment?

Adam: The economy wasn’t great when we graduated college in 2008. Jobs were hard to get. Friends and peers opted to stay in school while waiting for the economy to recover. We knew, however, that our plan for a gourmet cookie business was a great idea. If we could start a new business in this economy and grow it during the hardest of times, we would be poised for even greater growth when the economy turns around. Besides, when people are down or upset about things like the economy, they always seek comfort. What’s more comforting than a delicious cookie?

Lorraine: Cookies are certainly my comfort food. But I thought that was just me. Because your new business is still in business, it means you’ve kept your risk capital low. Can you explain how you did this?

Adam: We just celebrated our one-year anniversary in the food business, historically the time period in which new ventures fail. We attribute our success to careful planning, seizing opportunity, making sacrifices-both personal and financial-for the business, and putting the business first.

Specifically, we rounded up enough capital for start-up costs and operations for the first few months. We practice just-in-time ordering and production to keep inventory capital low. We partner with other businesses to keep our capital invested in assets low. For example, we rented a commercial kitchen by the hour for the first few months.

We amazed ourselves with the ideas we thought of and tried to keep costs as low as possible while producing our products and growing our sales. Some of the most fun we had was in trying creative new ways of doing business.

Lorraine: Say how and where you distribute your cookies and why those distribution channels contribute to your business success.

Adam: We tried more than 18 different marketing avenues, including farmers markets, online, weddings, events, catering, birthday parties, corporate gifts, and more. From these selling experiences, not only did we find out which ones worked best, but also which ones would help us grow. And we learned two important things: 1. Opportunity for growth exists if your product is truly good and people really like it; 2. No one sells your product like you can.

At our farmers markets, you can always find one of us-the owners-selling cookies. This gives us the chance to meet our customers, and it keeps overhead low. When we’re face to face with our customers, they see our passion and drive for our business. They seem to like meeting us too, and, perhaps, enjoy our cookies even more because they know the guys behind the recipes and the hard work. We take great pride in this. After all, without customers we have no business. Direct-to-customer distribution channels are therefore very important for us.

An area of new focus this year is our online division. We’re developing a brand new website that should be fun and interactive for our customers. We’re very excited about launching it soon.

Lorraine: I’m very excited about ordering cookies and writing your next success story without moving from my computer. Which prompts me to ask: How is it that your cookies sell so prominently in a market environment that’s so calorie-counting, sugar-avoiding, and health-conscious?

Adam: It’s pretty simple. We sample our cookies to anyone willing to try them. Healthy ingredients are featured in all of our cookie creations. While a cookie is still a cookie, we try to create cookies that anyone can enjoy, whether they are on a diet or not. While we continue to work on recipes with lower sugar for our diabetic and dieting customers, for now they can still enjoy our cookies, just in smaller bites.

Lorraine: All good things in moderation, right? With that said, who is your target market?

Adam: We target people seeking an indulgent snack, a way to reward themselves. Our cookies are treats, especially for people delightfully anticipating our next cookie creation. We pride ourselves as an innovative cookie company, pushing the envelope of cookie flavors and new combinations.

Our innovative cookies attract “foodies”-adventurous eaters knowledgeable in the world of cuisine. Because they know so much about food, foodies are very hard to impress. Yet, they’re some of our favorite customers since they recognize the creativity we put into our cookies and attention to the smallest details (for example, the sprinkle of sea salt on our Ultimate Chocolate Chip cookies, not to mention the precise baking temperature of 410 degrees). The foodies just love these little touches.

Lorraine: If I haven’t yet touched the secrets to the success of your business with my previous questions, please say now what you can about why your business is successful while so many others are shutting down.

Adam: Here it is in a nutshell:

Passion, enthusiasm, and drive for the business. We want to succeed. We put a lot of hard work and effort in to every detail of our business. And for all of us–the owners, the business comes first.

Customers. We excel at listening to our customers. It is from their requests, ideas, and suggestions that we formulate many of our ideas. Without them, we don’t do this.

Business decisions. We do our due diligence. We ensure that every decision is in the best interest of the business.

Growth. We look constantly looking for ways to improve. We are always looking for new ways to grow.

Lorraine: The word ‘ growth’ occurs prominently as you talk about your business. May you have the growth your company deserves, not the kind that comes from eating too many cookies. Thank you, Adam, for sharing your keen business insights. And let me know when your business goes public so we can share in your success!

Thank you, readers, for reading but I’m not sharing my 410 Degrees cookies. You can get your own directly from Adam at (858) 444-5059 (but please say that I sent you) or order online at And, no, this is not a commercial. Just thought you’d want to know how and where to get the best cookies in the world!

23 responses to “How to Build Business Success in a Recessed Economy

  1. Just wanna comment on few general things, The website design and style is perfect, the articles is rattling good :D. Lark Beltran Lucie

  2. ¿Necesita urgentemente un préstamo en efectivo? Consulte préstamos grandes y pequeños en línea y obtenga un préstamo rápido para aquellos que están endeudados y más.

  3. I needed to draft you one little observation so as to say thank you as before for those great methods you’ve documented here. It has been simply strangely open-handed with you to offer unhampered precisely what many people would’ve offered for sale for an ebook to help make some money on their own, particularly seeing that you might have tried it in case you desired. Those strategies in addition worked to become good way to know that some people have the identical keenness really like my personal own to realize much more when it comes to this matter. I believe there are several more pleasant sessions up front for people who scan your site.

  4. A lot of thanks for all your efforts on this site. Gloria loves engaging in investigation and it’s easy to understand why. Almost all know all concerning the dynamic means you give helpful items on the web blog and as well encourage contribution from others on that concern plus our daughter is actually discovering a lot. Have fun with the remaining portion of the new year. You’re the one conducting a good job.

  5. I am also writing to make you know what a impressive encounter my friend’s girl gained reading through your web page. She learned plenty of pieces, which include what it’s like to possess an amazing helping mood to let most people smoothly know several impossible subject matter. You truly exceeded our own expectations. Thank you for offering these invaluable, safe, explanatory and even fun tips about this topic to Julie.

  6. I needed to draft you one little bit of observation so as to say thank you once again for those incredible opinions you’ve documented here. It is quite pretty generous of people like you to deliver freely exactly what a number of people could possibly have made available as an e book to end up making some cash for themselves, most importantly given that you could possibly have done it if you ever decided. These inspiring ideas also served like the fantastic way to comprehend other individuals have similar eagerness like my own to know great deal more on the subject of this issue. I’m sure there are many more fun occasions in the future for individuals who look over your blog post.

  7. I simply needed to thank you so much once again. I am not sure the things that I would’ve implemented without the type of secrets provided by you on such a question. It previously was a very frustrating issue in my opinion, however , observing the very specialised strategy you processed that made me to leap with happiness. I will be happy for your service and thus sincerely hope you really know what an amazing job you have been putting in teaching some other people using your webblog. Most likely you haven’t got to know any of us.

  8. I’m commenting to let you be aware of of the awesome discovery my child developed browsing the blog. She came to find a good number of details, including how it is like to have a great coaching character to get a number of people clearly completely grasp a number of advanced issues. You actually did more than her desires. I appreciate you for churning out such beneficial, dependable, edifying and cool guidance on that topic to Emily.

  9. I enjoy you because of all of your effort on this blog. Debby delights in conducting internet research and it’s easy to see why. A number of us hear all about the compelling manner you create effective guides by means of the blog and boost contribution from other ones about this area of interest and my child has been becoming educated a great deal. Enjoy the remaining portion of the new year. You’re carrying out a fabulous job.

  10. I am glad for writing to make you know what a magnificent encounter my wife’s girl had studying your web site. She mastered several pieces, which include what it’s like to possess an awesome helping nature to let other individuals very easily know precisely some multifaceted subject matter. You truly exceeded people’s expectations. Thank you for presenting these powerful, trusted, informative and in addition fun tips about this topic to Kate.

  11. My wife and i were very thrilled when Raymond managed to round up his web research with the precious recommendations he was given while using the weblog. It is now and again perplexing to simply possibly be releasing tricks which usually the rest might have been trying to sell. We really understand we now have you to thank for this. Those illustrations you made, the straightforward website navigation, the relationships your site make it possible to promote – it is mostly wonderful, and it is making our son in addition to us understand this topic is thrilling, which is certainly wonderfully vital. Thanks for the whole thing!

  12. Before I began educating myself on all aspects of retirement it was always my view that I would take back what i put into CPP as soon as possible and everything after that was bonus. I have contributed almost $60,000 into CPP thus far. I am not retired yet but hope to be in a year or two. My view about CPP is much different now thanks to the plethora of information about it. I plan to wait beyond the age of 60 and hopefully reach 70 years of age before taking it providing my good health remains in tact Almeda Terrel Selma

  13. Thanks for a Interesting item; I enjoyed it very much. Regards Sang Magistrale Pearl Cecilio Tombaugh

  14. Awesome write-up. I am a normal visitor of your web site and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the excellent site. I will be a frequent visitor for a really long time. Phaedra Welsh Magree

  15. I love this!! I especially love your point about self talk. Becoming more aware of that little voice in my head and starting to challenge the negative things it told me was huge for my self love! Thanks for sharing! Maura Lin Norean

  16. Excellent, what a website it is! This weblog provides helpful information to us, keep it up. Neilla Ron Chen Brittni Gaspar Deb

  17. As I website possessor I believe the content matter here is rattling great , appreciate it for your hard work. You should keep it up forever! Best of luck. Jenilee Malcolm Averill

  18. Thanks for sharing such a pleasant idea, post is good, thats why i have read it entirely Hope Gunther Chemash

  19. I your writing style truly enjoying this website . La Verne Thorin Leibman

  20. Hello there. I discovered your blog by means of Google even as searching for a comparable matter, your site got here up. It appears good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to visit then. Arlina Verge Hennessey

  21. Today, considering the fast life-style that everyone leads, credit cards have a big demand throughout the economy. Persons throughout every area are using the credit card and people who aren’t using the credit cards have arranged to apply for 1. Thanks for revealing your ideas about credit cards. best cream for psoriasis over the counter

  22. fantastic publish, very informative. I’m wondering why the opposite specialists of this sector don’t understand this. You must proceed your writing. I’m confident, you’ve a great readers’ base already! Anxiety medication

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *