Entrepreneur Neil Hershman, owner and CEO of 16 Handles, a New York City frozen yogurt franchise with over 30 locations, has acquired the edible and bakeable cookie dough brand, DŌ, Cookie Dough Confections. Details of the transaction were not disclosed.
Hershman will immediately retain the role of CEO and owner of DŌ. He is joined by DŌ’s founder and co-owner Kristen Tomlan, who will continue to play an integral part in this new stage of growth as the chief brand officer.
Tomlan, a designer and brand consultant, founded DŌ in 2014 because of her love for unbaked cookie dough. Her unique take on the formerly forbidden treat has been a success and has inspired millions of customers worldwide, including the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Kim Kardashian, Ryan Seacrest, Chrissy Teigen, and John Legend, to eat cookie dough just how they crave it: straight out of the mixing bowl.
Tomlan successfully grew the brand to include multiple retail outlets and pop-ups, an ecommerce business, hands-on and virtual baking classes, and safe-to-eat flour and mixes. Her cookbook, Hello, Cookie Dough: 110 Doughlicious Confections to Eat, Bake, and Share debuted in October 2019.
“I started DŌ in a quest to create a worry-free indulgence that I could selfishly eat, bake, and share with others. The mission for this brand was always about spreading joy, which has been and always will be my favorite part of the baking process,” says Tomlan. “It’s been a dream come true to collaborate with 16 Handles’ New York City locations over the past five years, so expanding the partnership and growing our brands together is exciting for us both. I’m looking forward to this next chapter and being able to continue to spread happiness through these two iconic New York desserts.”
Over the past four years, Hershman has built a brick-and-mortar dessert empire throughout New York City under various popular brands. He personally owns and operates 12 dessert shops, including the 16 Handles Flagship located in Times Square.
“DŌ is one of New York City’s favorite and most unique desserts, and it’s been so popular selling alongside our artisanal frozen yogurt at 16 Handles in the past. I’m so excited to take Kristen and my partnership to the next level as we integrate DŌ’s edible cookie dough into the self-serve topping bar and to-go freezer at all of our 16 Handles locations, especially as we continue to expand nationally,” said Hershman.
DŌ will continue to ship its products nationwide through its website, offer customizable gifting, catering, and corporate treats, create unique class experiences, develop strategic pop-up retail locations, produce its safe-to-eat flour and mixes, and sell Tomlan’s cookbook. The stand-alone retail location in Greenwich Village has closed to make room for an increase in ecommerce capacity, and an exclusive lineup of DŌ products will soon be available at all 16 Handles locations nationwide. Customers can try DŌ starting today at the seven 16 Handles’ Manhattan locations, where it is featured on the topping bar and in to-go pints.