The Scoop about Alumni Cookie Dough!
Jennifer Dollander is the owner of Alumni Cookie Dough, a well-known edible cookie dough shop in the heart of downtown Athens! After graduating from The University of Georgia Jennifer became an office manager, but soon after getting married she decided she wanted to work from home and created her own business. Her first business was a party invitation and birth announcement online shop, which was on the Top Websites 10 of Yahoo and Google. Soon after creating her own business she became a teacher for twelve years, teaching both regular education as well as special education with a small tutoring business on the side. In addition to all of Jennifer’s success she also has a podcast where she discusses entrepreneurship known as Empty Nester Entrepreneur. Throughout her years in Athens she has joined the boards of Extra Special People (ESP) and Java Joy. A UGA Panhellenic representative, Mary Evelyn Brock, got to sit down with Jennifer Dollander in order to discuss how she started Alumni Cookie Dough, being a business owner, and Jennifer’s favorite go-to spots in Athens!
After being asked what inspired Dollander to open her business she recalled the time she visited New York City for her daughter’s birthday, where she found a cookie dough café in Greenwich Village. She felt as though Greenwich and Athens were very similar and began to wonder why Athens didn’t have something similar! It only took a matter of days in order to make her idea into reality and as she landed back in Athens, she had already secured the LLC and a year later the doors to Alumni opened! Since then, they have opened another location in Augusta and began to franchise throughout the South East. Something that Dollander is most proud of is that 50% of the proceeds from their flavor of the month go back to charities. Dollander explained, “It really is a great way to connect to the community and to let them know you are vested in where you are.” Alumni has been open since January 2019, making this coming January their 2-year anniversary. With all of Alumni’s success, Dollander also explained there are definitely obstacles, one of them being “figuring out the logistics between keeping pricing down, while keeping quality up.”
Mary Evelyn also dove into some of Dollander’s favorite things about Athens and some of her favorite spots in the Classic City. Some of Dollander’s favorite spots include The Place, Georgia Theatre, HYBAR and The Root! When asked to describe her favorite thing about Athens, Dollander responded with, “The whole vibe of Athens. My husband and I always come Downtown for date nights because we love the atmosphere and the college kids. It keeps us young!” Similar to her love for the overall vibe of Athens, Dollander said her favorite part about having a business in a college town is “the students! Everyone was so excited for our opening week – the student’s energy and support means everything.” She said that even through the corona virus pandemic people will come in and thank her which “really showed me the level of support in Athens.”
Alumni Cookie Dough is located on N. Thomas Street in downtown Athens and open Tuesday-Sunday with varying hours! They also have delivery options in order to ensure safety during Covid-19. Make sure to give Alumni and Jennifer Dollander a visit and try her favorite flavor, cookies and cream!