Doughbies delivers cookies on demand in San Francisco

Declaring themselves "the world's largest local bakery," start-up Doughbies is aiming to find a new sweet spot in the fast-growing instant economy.

The San Francisco-based enterprise delivers cookies—in orders of three, six or 12—in under 20 minutes, Monday through Friday, to various neighborhoods in the City by the Bay.

With grocery start-ups like Instacart, Sprig, Amazon Prime Now and others vying for the attention of the instant economy, Doughbies deliberately narrowed its focus.

Doughbies cookies.
Source: Doughbies
Doughbies cookies.

The original concept for the company—an online marketplace for local homemade baked goods—offered everything from bundt cakes to pies.

The variety of offerings, however, posed a problem. While demand was high, local bakers had difficulty turning products around at the last minute. By focusing on one product and baking locally, the company is now able to keep its delivery window down to 20 minutes.

"We think food is moving online and on demand. People who succeed in it are going to be deeply and vertically integrated. Specializing in whatever food segment you're doing means you can create a better quality product, and we're doing that for baked goods," co-founder and CEO Daniel Conway said.

Doughbies delivers to 10 zip codes in the San Francisco area but has plans to expand into more residential areas.

"Ultimately we're going to expand, that's guaranteed. We're going to expand into later hours and more products. We're moving into more baked goods" Conway said.

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Already experimenting with new features, Doughbies began piloting 7-11 p.m. "Night Owl" deliveries outside of its current noon-4 p.m. delivery hours.

Despite having many cookie varieties on the menu, its best seller is still chocolate chip.

"Chocolate chip is the baseball of baked goods" said Conway. "It's an American Classic."