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A chat with the owner of The Drunken Cookie, Saifa Kajani

The Drunken Cookie make large, New York style cookies that are extremely indulgent and absolutely delicious. With unique topping options, these cookies are the definition of indulgence – no wonder their customers are always coming back for more. Options include a weekly mystery box of cookies and their monthly cookie boxes with toppings that are always changing, like the Special K..it Kat or The Cure (Ferrero Rocher heaven!)

We had a chat with Saifa Kajani, the owner and founder of The Drunken Cookie, about her journey starting the business.

Have you always had a great love of food?

Absolutely. I grew up in an Asian household where food was almost a way of showing love. I think this is where my passion began – seeing the happiness a good meal can bring to someone.

Can you tell me about your own background in the food industry?

I always had an interest in food as I said, then came about my choice for CAO points and where I wanted to go to college. Despite my parents wanting me to go into law or be a doctor, I decided to pursue a degree in culinary entrepreneurship. Throughout my years in college I worked in the likes of Ottolenghi in London and The Intercontinental Hotel here in Dublin. 

What inspired you to set up your business? Did you notice a gap in the market?

I always wanted to own my own cafe. It took me to get to rock bottom to actually try to reach this goal. I had to start somewhere. Thus The Drunken Cookie was born.

How did you set up the business and how has it been growing over time?

My own kitchen. Trial and error with recipes until I got the perfect one. I started selling boxes through Instagram and when things got pretty serious I moved into an hour kitchen, to which now I have my own production kitchen!

Where do you source the ingredients used to make your cookies?

Gem foods, Musgrave’s and Homebaking would be our main suppliers

Can you tell me about some of the benefits associated with your cookies?

Guaranteed food coma. But a good one!

How important has social media been for you in spreading the word?

My key outreach is through instragram. I find it pretty personable, I get to talk to consumers directly there! And they get to see the face behind the brand too.

What makes your product unique?

Aint nobody make cookies like we do! Out there doughs, stuffings and toppings. Not your average cookie at all!

Where can people get your cookies?

Online, with nationwide delivery (thedrunkencookie.ie) or at our weekly markets (UCD on Thursdays, Bushy Park on Saturdays and the People’s Park, Dun Laoghaire on Sundays)

What, do you think, are some of the most interesting creations that you’ve made? Do you have any favourites?

Honestly anything I release I have a lot of love for. Some of the cookies are absolutely mental. One of my favourite ones was a Stroopwaffel, maple and white chocolate dough, topped with a toaster waffle and more maple syrup! It was called ‘Some Waffler’.

Are there any other small Irish food producers you admire?

I am obsessed with Gráinne Mullins of Grá Chocolates. She is honestly an inspiration. Such a quality product made by a strong women!

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced since going into business?

I mean.. I’m an under 30, person of colour female with a mental illness, who puts all that out there for people to see. I think because I’m honest a lot of people see vulnerability for weakness. It was not easy at all to get to where I am, just for the sheer challenges I face on a daily basis. 

What do you feel is your biggest achievement to date with this business?

Honestly, everyday I’m in sheer shock of where we are. My returning customers are an achievement in itself. I bought a trailer last October which brought me a lot of pride and sense of joy but that got stolen so I don’t know if I can say it was my biggest achievement because it feels like I didn’t ever have it now that its gone LOL (it’s not that funny though, is it…)

Could you ever have imagined doing anything else with your life?

NO.

What does the future hold for your business?

Big things. Once I get my head to work with me and not against me I’ll be taking over the world one cookie at a time.

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