By: Elise Phillips Margulis
Ines Robertson-Lavalle, a sophomore at Villa Walsh Academy, used to cringe when she saw people eating cookie dough because she feared they’d contract salmonella poisoning from the raw eggs in the batter. She decided it was time for someone to step up and make irresistible edible cookie dough which didn’t have the threat of making people ill. After much research and work, Go with the Dough was born.
She explained her inspiration for the product, “I am a germaphobe, so seeing friends and family eating the raw cookie dough when preparing cookies really worried me. At the age of thirteen, I decided to find a solution where people could eat the cookie dough without the health risks, so Go with the Dough started in May of 2017. The company began selling in stores this past fall.”
Robertson-Lavalle credits her baking expertise to growing up in an Argentine family. She, her mom and her sister spent a lot of time in the kitchen baking things that ranged from classic brownies to authentic Argentine desserts.
She describes her safe recipe for raw consumption. “The cookie dough contains no egg, which takes away any possibility of salmonella. It has tempered flour, which avoids the chance of any harmful bacteria. Also, there’s no water, which when combined with the flour could cause a stomach ache.”
Go with the Dough premiered with three flavors of edible cookie dough. Chocolate chip and sugar cookie are available in most locations, but the triple chocolate is an Instagram exclusive. Robertson-Lavalle revealed that two customer-requested flavors, Cookies and Cream and Peanut Butter Cookie Dough, are in the works. Her family serves as her taste testers and they are dieting and not fond of peanut butter so the flavors may not roll out immediately.
Robertson-Lavalle is a three-season sports player and is devoted to academics so she schedules visits to the commercial kitchen every two weeks to make the cookie dough. Her mom drives her over and helps her make the dough. She said she’s learned not to bring too much home because her siblings and mom will eat it all in a day (who can blame them?!).
Robertson-Lavalle inherited her parents’ entrepreneurial spirit. Her mom owned a company selling high-end Argentine tableware with her sisters for many years and her dad has a consulting company. Her parents help a lot with the company, which is legally under her dad’s name because she’s a minor.
She remembers that, “It took such a long time to finally be in local stores because there were many legal requirements. For example, I had to get several permits, find a certified kitchen to make the cookie dough in, and get the cookie dough tested in a laboratory. All these requirements took about half a year.”
At the time that this article was written, Burrini’s in Randolph and Sweet Spot Bake Shoppe in Chester were selling Go with the Dough. Robertson-Lavalle is always looking for new retail outlets and hopes to sign up with additional stores soon.
Go with the Dough is also available through Instagram by following @go_with_the_dough, where Robertson-Lavalle often offers specials.
Robertson-Lavalle says that two benefits from being a teen business owner include honing her time management skills and learning how to prepare her own tax returns.
She hopes that Go with the Dough will continue to grow and maybe even become a food chain across the country. Robertson-Lavalle has certainly had an early start. Her delicious dream may well come true.