Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food & beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jay Jacobson, Founder of Jay's Cookies, located in Ankeny, IA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We bake, deliver, and ship cookies to cookie lovers all over the country (and around the globe). Having gourmet cookies that are fresh and delicious.

Tell us about yourself

We are from Ankeny, Iowa, where the business has grown. Thanks to cookie lovers across the country.

My love of baking started at an early age. On rainy days, my mom would have her six boys sit at the table with a bowl of cookie dough and spend the afternoon together baking. It would occupy us for a few hours, so we grew up with a love of making cookies.

For the past 50 years, I’ve been perfecting my cookie recipes, so when my youngest daughter three years ago encouraged me to enter my cookies in the State Fair contest, I did. Much to my delight, I won.

My daughter told me that I needed to sell the cookies because they were "too good to be baked just for us." So we started baking cookies for a business and opened on Nov. 12, 2013.

Our business has just exploded since we started.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

We have taken a simple hobby of baking cookies and turned it into a thriving business, producing and delivering as many as 650 dozen cookies each week across the country. We were able to bake cookies for Food Network Star Alton Brown. (His favorite is our Citrus Coconut Curry Cookie).

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Time management is always a challenge, especially for the cottage industry. Many early mornings extend into late nights.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Surround yourself with other entrepreneurs, and listen to their experiences and advice.
  2. Build a network of businesses that will support you and them.
  3. Be flexible!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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