By Iman Siddiqui
Who doesn’t love cookies? Just thinking about the chewy, chocolatey goodness makes my mouth water. And the best thing about them? They taste delicious any time of the day. So when the foodie in me discovered a late-night cookie delivery service, specifically for UC Irvine students, I couldn’t wait to try it.
When the warm, made-from-scratch cookies from Freshly Baked Indulgence — FBI for short — were delivered straight to my door, I was first taken aback, then amazed. A guy in a suit, dark sunglasses, holding a paper bag stood before me and said, “This is the FBI, you ordered some cookies?”
At first, I wanted to laugh, but then I went along with it and accepted my cookies. However, I was more interested in what was going on behind the scenes, and decided to find out. After contacting them and finding out that I knew some of the people who were involved in this emerging business, I asked to talk to them to learn about what inspired them to start.
After just a short interview with these students, it was clear to me that they are a very excited and dedicated batch. During a late-night study session this past summer, a few of these students had a craving for cookies, but everything was already closed and there was no dough to be found. It was then, among scattered textbooks, empty water bottles and grumbling stomachs that an idea was born.
So why would a group of biological science majors ever be inclined to start a business? “We wanted to step out of our comfort zones and try something completely different from our everyday science classes,” they told me. “College is all about trying new things, and we wanted to challenge ourselves.”
As college students, we all have similar sentiments about being expected to fit a cookie-cutter image (pun intended) of a doctor, lawyer, engineer, etc. In an effort to break this image and create their own unique direction, these students diverged from the typical path.
Sometimes we all feel like we are robots, going from class to class, quarter to quarter. It is at times like this when it is important to step back and remember what we love and what we live for. Just because we are completing certain majors or heading toward a specific career route, doesn’t mean that we don’t have other passions or hobbies. Between hectic schedules, important commitments and the rare few hours of sleep, it’s easy to lose ourselves to the demands of school.
But it is so necessary to remind ourselves that college is for developing our interests and growing as the people we have — and are destined — to become. Not every extracurricular activity we get involved in needs to be a “resume-builder” and not every hour we are awake needs to be spent studying.
It took a long summer night and an empty stomach for these students to realize that they are not only capable of science-related activities; they have the potential to run a business. When I asked about the dynamics of the entire process, they simply told me, “We’re a family. We’ve combined our strengths and covered each other’s weaknesses to bring something great to campus.” One person loves cooking, and one is great at marketing. One of them loves graphic design, and another has a sharp eye for detail. By discovering and utilizing these qualities hidden behind the textbooks and calculators, they were able to create a strong team.
And finally, “it’s not about the money,” they explained. “We are holding fundraisers for various clubs on campus. We want to be able to help those who need it by doing whatever we can with the qualities and resources we have.”
With just a few cookies and a short conversation, I was reminded of what college is really about: discovering talents, following dreams and writing our individual stories. So study hard, follow your passions and take chances because no cookie is alike and no story identical.