WATERLOO — A new Cedar Falls business offers a familiar creamy, gooey cookie dough you can enjoy in a cone.
Just Dough gives you all the delight of ice cream without the dreaded ice cream headache.
Just Dough had a soft opening Thursday and officially opened its doors Saturday.
After a trial period at Scratch Cupcakes locations, Natalie Brown, local entrepreneur, moved the business into its own location at 6607 University Ave. next to Slumberland Furniture (old Hy-Vee buiding near College Square Mall).
“We’ve never really done a soft open before, so we didn’t know what to expect,” Brown said.
She and her team put out word of the soft opening on Facebook for family and friends.
“My team has such a huge network of friends that we’ve pulled in a whole bunch of people, which has been awesome,” Brown said.
The edible cookie dough is different than regular cookie dough for baking.
“We don’t put any eggs in it, and we use heat-treated flour,” Brown said. “You can put it in the oven, but it just turns into nothing.”
The University Avenue location offers 18 flavors a day; several are gluten free and vegan.
“We’re trying to come up with flavors that people might not get at home,” Brown said.
The dough is similar in texture and aesthetic to ice cream, without the cold. So much so Brown is looking at putting it out in trucks like she’s done with cupcakes.
“When we started Scratch Curbside we got a feel for what the food truck vibe would be like,” she said. “It’s a little more complicated just because of the temperature control.”
In 2010 Brown opened her first Scratch Cupcake location, which has spread around Iowa to West Des Moines, Coralville and the food truck.
She really wants to think outside the box with Just Dough.
“We’re not reinventing the wheel here, we’re just doing it in a scaled way,” Brown said.
As a child Brown would make cookie dough at home and eat it out of the bowl. She’s taking that experience to the next level.
“At home you’re not going to make four kinds of dough for four different people,” she said.
There is a coffee shop vibe when customers come in, and that’s on purpose.
“We’re working closely with Sidecar Coffee; they’ve set up our espresso bar,” Brown said. “We’re using all of their beans, and they developed a Just Dough blend for us that is uniquely ours.”
Brown’s baristas have come up with seasonal drinks to serve.
“Right now there’s white chocolate lavender that is just going crazy,” she said. “We’re new in the world of coffee, but we have the passion to make it great.”
Cedar Falls is Brown’s hometown, and she enjoys the support she’s received.
“People here tend to have a lot of grace for me because I grew up here,” she said.
Brown isn’t just passing through, she’s continued to create in the Cedar Valley.
Her team is made up of folks from neighboring communities helping to give life to ideas like Just Dough.
“We’ve worked really hard to create a unique space,” Brown said. “It takes village. I have a fantastic team. They are more instrumental than I am because they’re fantastic.”