Super healthy cookies – BobRockz – made by two enterprising Swiss International School Dubai (SISD) pupils – caught the eye of leading retailer Spinneys, which gave the duo one of its 2021 Local Business Incubator Awards.
Pupils bake up a winning cookie idea
The Spinneys Local Business Incubator award launched in 2020 to identify and support entrepreneurial ambitions and develop businesses in the UAE’s fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector. The programme offers entrepreneurs a quick route to market with several benefits.
But the year 2021 winners were one of the youngest entrepreneurs ever to receive an incubator award.
Devi, aged 8, (aka Bobby) and Meera, aged 6 (aka Rocky), together makes BobRockz Cookie company. Devi, at nearly 4 yrs old, decided to make her own healthy cookies after watching the movie Zootopia and was inspired by the character Judy Hopp,- Bunny who says “Anyone Can Be Anything”.
“Devi, due to her intolerances, started to explore in the kitchen with her mum, when she was just 18 months – and by the time she was four, was baking her favourite chocolate cookies all by herself.”
Devi (Bobby) says, “We are here to create a world of our own, where clean eating is for everyone. We are ready to be seen, heard and known – and we don’t need to wait to grow up. Anyone can be anything! Fairytales need not be about prince and princesses, BobRockz is a fairytale for us.”
The KG2 and 3-grade pupils wanted the cookies to be healthy due to their dietary and allergen needs – which include intolerances to gluten, dairy, eggs and white sugar – and so spent many years, with help from mum, Anupa, perfecting recipes for cookies which are ‘clean’ – vegan and free from gluten, nuts, refined sugar, artificial flavours, preservatives and palm oil – but still tasty!
Judges were impressed by the entrepreneurial skill shown by the girls, who keep the exact recipes for their cookies under wraps. But the delicious cookies come in a range of flavours including “Classic Chocolate Chip”, “Breakfast Super Seed” and special editions for occasions and events like Eid and Pink Caravan, when the kids made a limited-edition chocolate cookie topped with 24 carat gold!
The cookie creators beat off numerous companies with their presentation and product, which includes nutritious flour blends and plant-based ingredients such as pumpkin seeds, sun-dried dates, red rice, mung beans, lentils and pulses.
With the help of mum, the girls have sold their cookies at Dubai’s Ripe Market, and already have a growing social media presence.
Spinneys will now stock the cookies in the fresh bakery area of 16 stores, from end of March.
The cookies which come in two flavours, will be sold for AED19, for a pack of 4 cookies.
The girls want to make sure that healthy and clean ingredient eating is for everyone so they made their cookie cost less than your daily cup of coffee.
SISD School Principal Ruth Burke says, “The journey of BobRockz has been organic and has enriched the girls with invaluable practical lessons along the way. The students and staff are over the moon and can’t wait to grab their cookies from the stores. BobRockz is a beautiful example that dreams do come true, and we are very proud of what these young entrepreneurs have achieved.”
Spinneys will sell the cookies for 12 months in store, and the award includes selling online via Spinneys website, in store promotion and sampling, and coaching sessions with senior commercial and marketing management during the next year, should the girls wish for such sessions.
Proposed Quote from Spinneys, “BobRockz is a product which ticks a lot of boxes for what the average Spinneys customer is looking for. The unique recipe is healthy, and we are seeing ongoing interest in healthier snacks and treats from our customers. We are delighted to support such young passionate and creative entrepreneurs.”
Since launch, the Incubator programme has been praised by the UAE government’s Food and Water Security office for its contribution to the National Food Security Strategy.