Profiles of Innovation
When stood up for a date, Leon Chen couldn't have expected the sour evening would be the impetus for a booming, state-wide business.
But when he saw the apologetic gesture of freshly baked cookies delivered to his doorstep by Tiffany — a friend, aspiring baker and aforementioned romantic interest — Leon let go of any ill will and found opportunity.
Within thirty minutes of receiving the "I'm sorry" treats, he pitched Tiffany on delivering her homemade cookies around town — just like pizza.
"That first year, we worked one hundred hours each, and at the end of the year we lost $15,000. . .We risked a lot — including our own relationship — for this business," says Leon.
Despite the hard work that the business required, their strong partnership sweetened the deal. "Leon has a really entrepreneurial spirit," Tiffany says. "I put together the vision and work on big picture things, and she executes it — she's very good at executing operations," Leon readily adds.
Today, Tiff's Treats has expanded within three cities (Austin, Dallas, Houston), a level of success that affords Tiff's Treats the unique position of making others' dreams come true.
When a new Tiff's Treats store opens, Tiff's Treats selects a girl or boy from the Make a Wish Foundation to sponsor. The store then sells cookies for $3 a dozen, directing 100 percent of the sales towards the child's Wish until the goal is fulfilled.
So what kind of enterprising spirit is required to create and maintain such a generous dessert dynasty?
"To me an entrepreneur is someone that, despite any and all setbacks, continues to try to move forward and create something," Leon explains.