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Meet CJ Bornhagen and Jeff Edge of Three Bears- Bake at Home

Today we’d like to introduce you to CJ Bornhagen and Jeff Edge.

CJ and Jeff, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
We have a deep love and appreciation for food and a deep craving for sweets that can be hard to quench! We decided to take our appreciation for good cookies and see what could be done to make them meet our sweet tooth requirements. After a few too many weekends trying out new cookie ideas at Jeff’s home and sitting in the backyard eating damn good cookies, we realized it was time to share. Three Bears bake at home cookies was born!

We aren’t master bakers or formally trained in gastronomy. We are just really good at making a killer cookie. Jeff loves to say that we are artists, combing unique and different flavors in ways that are special yet taste classically familiar. You’ll find variations on the classic cookie, recipes passed down from our families, and some astounding new creations.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
CJ and Jeff both have jobs that are unrelated to the food industry, so trying to get a food start up business has been quite the learning experience for us. What we found difficult is that while you can find people who can support and help you not everyone has all the answers and it has taken us some trial and errors but all very good learning experiences. We still have directions we’d like to expand and in doing so have found new hurtles to jump but we have confidence in our product and have been willing to learn along the way.

Areas we are still trying to perfect include shipping our products to customers directly. It’s a frozen product and must keep that way so trying to ship them, keep them frozen and do that affordably for the business and the customer has been a challenge.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Three Bears- Bake at Home – what should we know?
Three Bears- bake at home is a different concept in the cookie realm of the food industry. We found that while it’s easy to go to the store to find quick pre-made cookie dough, the quality isn’t always the greatest and takes some effort with those dough tubes.

From the start, we knew we had an interesting idea and worked hard to figure out how to create a cookie dough that can go from the freezer to the table in 20 minutes or less ( well minus preheating your oven). We also worked hard to put premium ingredients into these recipes so you’re going to find European chocolates, French sea salt, Madagascar vanilla to name a few. We wanted the process to be very simple. A customer can open the bag take out 1 pre- scooped cookie dough ball or take out all 12. The freezer safe bags allow you to put them right back in the freezer and keep them fresh for up to 6 months once open. A customer can bake the cookie to however they like them best, Jeff likes them crispier, CJ likes them a little underdone with a scoop of ice cream on top. The baking part is all up to the customer and their preferences.

We’ve had several customer who work at offices tell us they make our cookies and bring them in to share with staff. They are always a hit. One customer even admitted she didn’t say where the cookies came from and the office thinks they are her cookies. We are okay with that, as long as she keeps coming back for more!

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
The Bears have been at this almost entirely on their own. But one key component that helped us take the business from making cookies at home to making it a quality business was when we were connected with the East End Kitchen at 4th street Market in Santa Ana, Orange County. They offer industrial kitchen spaces for rent by the hour and have commercial kitchen equipment that helped us take things to the next level. We still make each batch by hand but had access to larger equipment such as 30 qt mixers, a blast chiller and larger kitchen space to increase our batch sizes and create more efficiently. It was a big step but a perfect match to give us the perfect environment. It helps keep our expenses down tremendously.

Pricing:

  • CareBear and Munchie Cookie- (Best Sellers)This is our chocolate chip base with additions marshmallows, chocolate caramel candy bar and sea salt on top-$15 a doz
  • Cindy, Jan and Marsha- Our peanut butter cookie line. 3 versions from simple peanut butter to chocolate chips and more. -$12 a doz.
  • Just Right and Paddington- (Best Sellers) Our Blondie cookies both with butterscotch chips and more- $15 a doz.
  • Grizzly Bear- a cocoa based cookie with dark and white chips- $15 a doz.
  • LumberJack Snacks- An Oatmeal cookie with dried tart cherries and choc chips- $15 a doz.
  • We also make seasonal cookies that vary depending on the time of year. Look for S’mores, Short bread cookies and holiday creations for $18 a doz.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
CJ Bornhagen
Jeff Edge
Teri Ezaki
Ed Hansbury
AFB Photography

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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