'The Naked Baker' wins business contest with all-natural cookie dough

Naked Baker produces cookie dough using all-natural ingredients with no chemical additives or preservatives. Photo by CT Kruger.

July 29, 2015

The future is even brighter for a local business after Susan Knutson of Elm Grove won last week's Milwaukee Area Technical College and Reliable Water Services annual Hottest Kitchen Entrepreneur Challenge.

Knutson and her young company, The Naked Baker, based in Brookfield, were among the three finalists in the early stage category for the competition. The Naked Baker produces five flavors of all-natural cookie dough that is sold in 17 stores around the Milwaukee-area.

Going in, Knutson admitted that she would be disappointed if she didn't come out on top.

Afterward, she was pleased that she had been able to present her product in a way that articulated its quality.

"I was really happy about it. I thought that the competition was good. I knew I had to do really well and present my business and my product well to win," Knutson said. "Everything went great."

For winning, Knutson received a number of prizes, including $2,000 in seed money from Reliable Water Services, which she says has already been put to good use.

"The money has been spent already. I have a business coach that is going to help me get to the next phase for my business," Knutson said. "I want to start working with a distributor in the fall to get my product into other states."

In addition to the money, Knutson also received tuition for a 3-credit course at MATC, which she hopes she might be able to use on a food safety course, and the opportunity to sit down with food industry executives serving on the Food and Beverage Wisconsin advisory council.

"That's going to help me with taking the next step. I'm sure that they will have great contacts and resources to help guide me," Knutson said.

Knutson also hopes to develop a sales staff for The Naked Baker in the near future.

"I really want to get my product moving," Knutson said.

The Naked Baker currently distributes five flavors of cookie dough, including Colin's Loaded Oatmeal, inspired by one of Susan's sons, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Grand Slam Chocolate, Super-Duper Chocolate Chunk and Friggin' Good Sugar Cookie.

The company will also start to distribute a gluten-free option this fall.

To locate the Milwaukee-area store nearest you that carries The Naked Baker's cookie dough, go to www.thenakedbakercookies.com

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