CLIENT SPOTLIGHT - BENNETT ST & BLAIR ST DAIRY
We recently interviewed Cliff Baskin as part of our Client Newsletter. Cliff is one of the Business Partners of Bennett St & Blair St Dairy. He works closely with Paul Hareb, Director.
Tell us about your cafés – Bennett St & Blair St Dairy?
My business partner and I opened our first cafe, Bennett St Dairy, in Bondi just over 6 years ago. We opened Blair St Dairy about 2 years ago with the vision to expand our offering and seating capacity. Both cafes offer modern Australian breakfast & lunch. We began Bennett St Dairy with just the two of us, a waitress and a barista & we now employ over 40 staff across two locations.
What inspired you to start your business?
With the cornerstone of our business being a commitment to good food, specialty coffee and friendly service, both venues are what would be considered local favourites. Amongst everything we offered, our best seller was always our chocolate chip cookie, with each venue comfortably selling over 400 cookies per week.
Following Sydney’s lockdown in March 2020 we closed both shops to take stock of what was going on and how we could get through the tough times ahead. We had over 100 kgs of cookie dough left over in our cool room and casually put it up for sale on Instagram. Within the first hour we sold out and were only able to reply to a third of people wanting to buy it. From there our cookie dough became the must have product during Sydney’s lockdown.
What changes did you make to your business when COVID started?
We decided to only provide takeaway food and coffee at both of our venues. This enabled us to cut down on wages and all of our staff were able to start making cookie dough and remain employed.
You recently launched your popular cookie dough in Woolworths. How did this come about?
Several months into lockdown we started selling our cookie dough to local supermarkets, IGAs, butchers, small good providores and online stores. Soon we became very well known within the supermarket space and it was finally time for us to approach Woolworths. After a few weeks of back-and-forth emails and phone conversations, we were able to get a 3-month trial in selected Woolworths stores. So far it is going well!
How has this impacted your business?
After getting into Woolworths, our brands reputation has increased, sales have improved and we now have a lot more work to do!
Where do you see your business in 5 years?
We aim to become Australia’s number 1 cookie dough brand and be stocked in the majority of supermarkets in Australia.
How has Imagine Accounting assisted you?
Imagine Accounting has been an unbelievable source of guidance and help. They have provided us with the confidence that our financial side of the business is being taken care of. They have always been there from the start, ready to answer any questions and guide us in the right direction. No job has been too big or to small & there is no way we would be where we are today without their help. A special mention must be given to Paul Hareb, who has been the guiding light with all our financial needs. His friendly, down to earth approach and know how has been invaluable with building our business.
What is the best way to order your cookie dough?
Go to our website at www.bennettstdairy.com and we will deliver it directly to your door! Or check out our stockists on our website and see where it is stocked nearest to you.