By Chris Olsen
Robyn Frank moved to New York to pursue an acting career. When it didn’t pan out, she decided to become a cookie baker and launched her own company, Thumbs Cookies. Robyn’s specialty: Her mom’s tiny “thumb” cookies, named for the gentle press she’d give each quarter-sized mound of dough before baking them.
Eventually Robyn moved back to her home state of Minnesota where she secured a commercial kitchen space and began scaling the company. Inspired by a job she’d had her first year out of college driving the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, Robyn imagined driving around town in a cookie mobile, serving Thumbs Cookies and milk. Only rather than a giant cookie on wheels, she envisioned a Volkswagen Beetle and a trailer.
Robyn launched a Kickstarter campaign and was able to purchase half of the cookie mobile—the Beetle—but it took a bit longer to find the perfect trailer. As fate would have it, earlier this year, she stumbled upon a used Casita trailer with a “for sale” sign in the window parked just down the street from her home. The young woman who owned it was reluctant to let it go (her dad insisted she sell it), but she agreed when Robyn told her how the trailer would be transformed.
Robyn spent weeks retrofitting the trailer with a kitchen and sprucing up the exterior. This month, as businesses began reopening in Minnesota, Robyn hit the streets with Kirby the Cookie Mobile (named for the trailer’s original owner whose last name was Kirby). They make parking lot appearances at local retailers and restaurants and offer hot and fresh Thumbs Cookies and ice cold milk. Kirby is also available to rent for weddings and other special events.
Next on Robyn’s list for growing the company? Adding to the Thumbs Cookies team. She’s expecting her first baby in August.
For more information about Robyn’s business and where to find Kirby, visit ThumbsCookies.com.
You can also learn more about Robyn and Kirby in this recent #MNComeback segment on Twin Cities Live.
About the author: Chris Olsen is a radio veteran turned communications consultant, educator and author of “Whyography: Building a Brand Fueled by Purpose”. Through her work as a consultant partnering with startups, Chris realized her WHY—to support womxn-owned businesses in confidently communicating their purpose and impact, setting them up for entrepreneurial success. She created My Founder Story as a platform for doing so.