Monica Mitidieri began jotting down ideas for irresistible cookies while on bed rest during a high-risk pregnancy, but she didn’t formally create Monica’s Best Gourmet Cookies until eight years later. By then, requests for her cookies had begun to eclipse every other item on her gourmet catering menu.
She began a mail-order business, which has grown to include a retail location at her production facility and an ecommerce business. Three other gourmet food sites and 34 stores in West Michigan also sell Mitidieri's 33 types of cookies, which include gluten and sugar-free varieties.
In addition to steadily growing her business for the past 18 years, Mitidieri's cookies were recently featured on the shopping network QVC, an event that was written up by the local press. A special assortment is now featured on the QVC website.
Mitidieri sought a SCORE mentor to help her tackle self-doubt and get to the next level in growing her business. She worked with several SCORE mentors, including Bob Cooper, Dale Ewald, and Dan Butler. Butler helped her with numbers and Ewald assisted with "production flow and dollars."
“Dan made me be responsible for knowing the numbers on the reports. Before that, I glanced at them and kept going. Revenue increased after I became familiar with where the dollars were bleeding out and how I could rein them back in,” Mitidieri says.
Mitidieri offers the following advice to other small business owners: “Do not let someone else quiet your passion. Passion will drive you to seek the information you need for the rest.”