(Patrick D. Rosso/Boston.com/2012)
They can be spotted sprinting through college campuses on their bikes dressed in orange delivering cookies late at night to hungry college students, but the employees of Sweet Idea are just the beginning of a ground up venture.
Founded by 24-year-old John Piermarini a little over a year ago, the company that cooks it delicious products in Jamaica Plain and delivers to Tufts, Northeastern and Boston University, is slowly growing, expanding its bakery offerings and eyeing other campuses.
"I love to cook and bake and I was looking for a way to not have to eat everything I made," said Piermarini, a Somerville resident and Acton native. "I'm living off of it [the company], so it' a lot of rice and peanut butter, but we'e doing alight, we're making money."
Piermarini, a Rochester Institute of Technology graduate who previously worked at IBM, said he was looking to escape the corporate world and go out on his own.
Developing the idea with a few freinds, Piermarini launched the company with a couple of bikes and a lot of work. Using text messages to take their orders and dispatch riders the group has managed to develop a cult following on campus, especially for delivering from 10 p.m.- 3 a.m.
"We have people who are just studying and want cookies," said Piermarini. "Certainly we have plenty of people who are messed up but we have plenty of customers who are just looking for a good cookie."
Now with close to 10 employees from bikers to cooks, Piermarini said business is steady.
"People are looking for something to eat late at night and we want to fill that void," Piermarini said. "There is nobody out there who does sweets especially in a way we do; we can do some deliveries in just five minutes because we are on campus."
With delivery people based in specific areas, the cookies, from chocolate chip to oatmeal, are able to be delivered at a moment?s notice on the back of bikes.
While the cookies and the venture are a pretty sweet idea, Piermarini said the business is more about having fun and thinking creatively.
Using the skills of engineering students at Tufts, Piermarini has been encouraging the development of tools that help his business and pad the students' resumes. From more efficient cookie trays to advertising light boxes, Piermarini wants to help his business and use it as a jump off point for future entrepreneurs.
"There are a lot of fresh ideas that college students have,"said Piermarini. "There are plenty of students who have all sorts of ideas they want to try out but for whatever reason they can't; they can' get the capital, they can' convince some body it' a good idea. So we want to find a way that we can help support those ventures."
With designers working on making the delivery bikes more efficient to how the cookies are plopped onto the trays, Piermarini thinks the company has the potential to not only franchise itself, but make a little money and enjoy some good cookies.
"It's a lot of work to make this go, but I don't mind working like crazy I have a lot of fun doing this job. I consider success when I can step away and know I can still pay my rent and the company won' fall into itself,"said Piermarini. "It's already sort of getting to that point and we still have a lot of challenges that we need to deal with, but right now things are looking good."---