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Norwalk Business Leads To 'Sweet' Success For Mother-Daughter Founders

Left to right: Corey and Julie Tolkin show off their Unbakeable cookie dough balls at a trade show.
Left to right: Corey and Julie Tolkin show off their Unbakeable cookie dough balls at a trade show. Photo Credit: Submitted

NORWALK, Conn. -- Corey Tolkin of Weston admits there are times she needs to talk to her mom as a parent and other times as a business partner.

Being "the business partner" with a question, in fact, is the only time she trumps her brother and sister at a family function.

Corey runs Unbakeables, a dessert company specializing in cookie dough bites with her mom, Julie Tolkin, also of Weston. The two are together so much they're like an old married couple who can finish each other sentences, Corey says.

The business, which operates under the umbrella name Whipped Up, began three-and-a-half years ago when Julie's three kids were all out of the house. So it hasn't created any jealousies or sibling friction. "My other two are busy doing their own thing," said Julie.

And, of course, everyone loves the sweet rewards of the Tolkin's creations. "We're always in charge of bringing dessert to any family function," said Julie.

The company's origins hark back to a time when Julie, a longtime preschool teacher at the Westport/Weston Co-op, would make cookies and her kids would lick the bowl.

Wanting to figure out a safer way for the kids to indulge in the dough, Julie tweaked a chocolate chip cookie recipe, topping it with her sister's peanut butter cup recipe for an egg-free creation.She later perfected them into cookie dough balls.

"Everyone kept telling us this could be a business," said Corey. "We didn't really take it seriously until I was in college and thinking about a job."

And so, the daughter who got a degree in teaching and the teacher who eventually would cut her hours down, started selling at area farmer's markets as well as local stores such as Peter's in Weston, Palmer's in Darien and Walter Stewart's in New Canaan, using a commercial kitchen in South Norwalk as their base.

Now Unbakeables, which come in eight flavors such as Midnight Mint, Choconutter and Cake Walk, are in Whole Foods as well as a host of stores in Westchester, Connecticut, and New York City.

The two "unbakers" (their term) say working with family is great because they always have each other's back not to mention 100 percent trust in each other.

Corey said they gave themselves two years to see whether their creation would be a viable business and so far, have already exceeded expectations. "We're not necessarily the fastest-growing company," she said. "But we are going at our own pace, and we're happy.

"I like to say I have the best job in the world."

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