We had the good fortune of connecting with Cari Peterson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cari, is there something you can share with us that those outside of the industry might not be aware of?
I had heard, before I was in the industry, how difficult the restaurant industy is. I can say now, it’s much more difficult than even I had imagined. And I’m sure more difficult than most imagine.
I come from a sales background for a Fortune 500 company, so it was hard initially wrapping my head around something that was so completely different. The profit margins in this business/industry are very low, yet it’s a very high maintenance business.
I feel like generally business models are a little more balanced. From staffing and training, to food quality and creativity, to inventory and vendors, and keeping customers happy…it’s literally a 24/7 job. But when you hit it right, it’s completely gratifying.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Unbaked is what I like to describe as a CRAZY dessert shop. Anyone who has a sweet tooth will be into it. We make housemade desserts for everyone, including gluten and vegan-friendly options, as well as egg-free and dairy-free options. You can have it any way you want it, with or without gluten!
We also began selling boozy shakes last year, to cater to the “I want dessert…but I also want a cocktail” crowd. Lets just say the Arizona Department of Liquor was not into licensing us. At all. They said they had not previously licensed a dessert/ice cream shop. Needless to say we had to jump through a lot of hoops. We even had to add some “ordinary food” to our menu to placate them (grilled cheese, potato chips…). We tried to explain we think ice cream is ordinary food, but they did not concur. I think precedent is what they feared. We offer the more traditional Mudslide boozy shake, as well as the Peace Out Girl Scout, and Boozy Brunch, and many more. You’ll just have to come in and try them. And yes, getting our liquor license was a Covid pivot. But we think it also definitely fills a market need.
Like I mentioned before, we try to have dessert options for pretty much everyone. I’m gluten-free and get frustrated at the amount of restaurants and personnel who still have little idea about food allergies, and no menu notations to designate what is GF or VF or whatever. I was told last week rice has gluten because it is a grain, at a very popular local restaurant. This is not true (unless there is cross-contamination). We want to bridge this gap, and give everyone the opportunity to be able to go out and enjoy a dessert experience as a family or friend group, with no one left out because of food intolerances or diets.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This is going to be tricky for me because I work so much. In my downtime I just try to relax. But let me think…
Some of the things I would do with them would be to take them to a Spring Training game at Scottsdale Stadium, and then hit the bars around Old Town Scottsdale afterward. We would probably have to do some shopping in Old Town too.
Another night we would have dinner at AZ88 (amazing food and martinis). And we would have to have a spa day at Camelback Inn Spa (the OG), to relax from all of our eating and drinking (winky-face). And maybe go up to Sedona for a night or two to take in all the beauty of the red rocks.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to give a Shoutout to my crazy family, and especially my husband. Because this is a 7 day a week job, and an even when we’re on vacation job, he has to put a lot of conversations and thoughts on hold while I’m putting out fires. Thank you Husband! ANd in general my family puts up with my crazy (and trust me it’s a lot ;). I appreciate all of them so much.
Linkedin: Cari Peterson
Yelp: Unbaked edible cookie dough & ice cream
The picture of stacked doughwiches in a hand was taken by Debbie Wolvos. All the other pictures were taken by Local480 (our marketing co).