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Bennett Street Dairy: How James Meek and Cliff Baskin launched the popular Sydney cafe

Is this the best cookie dough in Australia? Foodie friends who started their own cafes are now making over $3 million a year — and it’s all because of a cult favorite

  • James Meek, 38, and Cliff Baskin, 35, co-own two Sydney cafes
  • Bennett Street Dairy launched in 2015 followed by Blair Street Dairy in 2018
  • Best friends started selling cookie dough during Covid-19 to keep their heads above water
  • It became a cult favorite product and can be purchased at Woolworths
  • The local businesses have a turnover of more than $3 million per year


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Two friends of cafe owners who have become known for their thick cult-favorite cookie dough are pumping out nearly a ton a week.

James Meek, 38, and Cliff Baskin, 35, brought their dream to life in November 2015 after investing $100,000 in the business venture.

“We had a lot of passion, little money and wanted to try it,” Meek told FEMAIL.

Their Bennett Street Dairy and sister spot Blair Street Dairy have become popular brunch destinations in Bondi in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

When the locations temporarily closed during Covid-19, the founders were left with 100kg of cookie dough in the fridge.

They started delivering the dough to customers sitting at home with their ‘loaded’ chocolate chip cookie to eventually keep the company afloat during the pandemic.

Cliff Baskin (left) and James Meek (right) launched Bennett Street Dairy in November 2015 and are known for their hearty cult-favorite cookie dough

Cliff Baskin (left) and James Meek (right) launched Bennett Street Dairy in November 2015 and are known for their hearty cult-favorite cookie dough

Bennett Street Dairy and sister Blair Street Dairy (pictured) have become popular brunch destinations in Sydney's eastern suburb of Bondi

Bennett Street Dairy and sister Blair Street Dairy (pictured) have become popular brunch destinations in Sydney's eastern suburb of Bondi

Bennett Street Dairy and sister Blair Street Dairy (pictured) have become popular brunch destinations in Sydney’s eastern suburb of Bondi

‘When I first tried the cookie, I couldn’t believe how delicious it was; it caught the attention of customers as soon as we put it on the window,” said Meek.

“There are no tricks or tricks, it’s just one of the tastiest cookies you’ll ever have.”

They designed the packaging to match the company logo and printed the labels at Officeworks to use.

The duo admitted that they were “beginners” in graphic design and marketing, but have grown their Instagram account to gain a following of more than 21,000 people.

The couple have a background in hospitality with Mr. Meek working as a waiter and Mr. Baskin as a chef.

Their simple philosophy of working hard to provide a great experience for customers has paid off, as the two locations generate more than $2 million in annual revenues and more than 30 employees.

“We knew we had to make it work, as there was a lot of money at stake, and we were willing to work 60 hours a week for that,” he said.

When the locations were temporarily closed due to Covid-19, the founders were left with 100kg of cookie dough in the fridge, which they started delivering to customers sitting at home

When the locations were temporarily closed due to Covid-19, the founders were left with 100kg of cookie dough in the fridge, which they started delivering to customers sitting at home

They pump out a ton of cookie dough every week to send to customers

They pump out a ton of cookie dough every week to send to customers

When the locations were temporarily closed due to Covid-19, the founders were left with 100kg of cookie dough in the fridge, which they started delivering to customers sitting at home

The pair have a background in hospitality, with Mr. Meek working as a waiter and Mr. Baskin as a chef

The pair have a background in hospitality, with Mr. Meek working as a waiter and Mr. Baskin as a chef

The pair have a background in hospitality, with Mr. Meek working as a waiter and Mr. Baskin as a chef

Mr Meek received the ‘unexpected’ call from Woolworths earlier this year to discuss a possible trial of cooperation.

He said interest was likely sparked after the cafe began stocking the 500-gram packets of cookie dough at smaller retailers, including Romeo’s IGA and Vic’s Meats.

Customers can choose from the original cookie dough or white chocolate and macadamia cookie dough for $13 for 500g.

The huge piece of cookie dough makes between eight small to one giant cookie, so customers can decide for themselves how big or small they want the cookies.

It was ultimately the 'loaded' chocolate chip cookie that paved the way for success and kept the company afloat during the pandemic

It was ultimately the 'loaded' chocolate chip cookie that paved the way for success and kept the company afloat during the pandemic

It was ultimately the ‘loaded’ chocolate chip cookie that paved the way for success and kept the company afloat during the pandemic

Mr Meek received the 'unexpected' call from Woolworths earlier this year to discuss a potential collaboration trial

Mr Meek received the 'unexpected' call from Woolworths earlier this year to discuss a potential collaboration trial

Customers can choose the original cookie dough or white chocolate and macadamia cookie dough for $13 for 500g

Customers can choose the original cookie dough or white chocolate and macadamia cookie dough for $13 for 500g

Mr Meek received the ‘unexpected’ call from Woolworths earlier this year to discuss a possible trial of cooperation. Customers can choose the original cookie dough or white chocolate and macadamia cookie dough for $13 for 500g

“We were surprised by the response because we’re not a huge marketing machine, we’re just a small company,” Meek said.

“But we are grateful for the support from our loyal Sydney customers.”

The cookie dough comes with easy-to-follow cooking instructions and takes no more than 15 minutes to bake in the oven.

The popular cookie dough is only available in select Sydney suburbs, including Neutral Bay, Dee Why, Alexandria, Gordon, Lane Cove, Hornsby and Bondi Junction.

The cookie dough comes with easy-to-follow cooking instructions and takes no more than 15 minutes to bake in the oven.

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