We had the good fortune of connecting with Chris and Denise Vann and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chris and Denise, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
We started at the beginning of the pandemic. Everywhere we went we saw people that were not smiling, we knew we could make a difference and we decided simply to make people smile. You can’t help but smile when you say cookie and you can’t help but smile and share that smile when you eat our cookies.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
This is Chris, I grew up in a family owned catering business in Lubbock, Texas. We fed everyone from Presidents of the United States to the Shah of Iran to The Beach Boys. We catered in every small town around Lubbock, we toured with rock bands and I was just in the right place at the right time to get to do a lot of cool stuff and meet a lot of cool people. One of my childhood idols was Norman Brinker of Chili’s fame. I worked for Brinker International for 20 years off and on and lead some amazing teams and helped develop a ton of high caliber talent. I got to meet Norman at his ranch in Dallas in 2000, a definite highlight of my career. He gave us two words of wisdom I will never forget. “ make work like play, and play like hell” and the other one was “ you can’t fix stupid”.
It hasn’t always been easy, it’s been stress and late nights and complete failures, but it has always been fun.
This is Denise,
I started out selling my driveway for car parking for events down the street at the park on holidays when I was 10. I’ve worked in retail, taught preschool and now I teach kindergarten. I got to fulfill a bucket list item when we had our restaurant by being a server and telling people what they were going to have. I made it fun and while Chris made the food I delivered it and played games and made my tables do the wave for dessert. I have a passion for early childhood and special needs kids that helps me relate to anyone at any level and I bring that to our cookie business.
No it isn’t always easy, but it is always fun
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We would have to start with some of the mom and pop places for some great Mexican food. They are the best and we support local businesses. Our favorite is Rio Rico off of Val Vista and Guadalupe. Family owned and incredible food. We would take the trip to Tombstone for sure and show people around there,. The Phoenix Zoo, The Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest and a sunset at Painted desert. Cave Creek is a blast on A Friday or Saturday for some live music. I’m pretty sure we would make the trip as well in our Northern Loop to stand on the corner in Winslow, Arizona. The days would be filled with laughter and off the beaten path stuff.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many people that have inspired us to make our corner of the world a little better it would be impossible to list them. The biggest inspiration for all of this for me was Denise. She pushes forward no matter what and she has a unique way of keeping me grounded when I think things are falling apart. She came up with our mission statement that everyone deserves a good cookie, and the price point of $1.00 per cookie. We are still committed to that price point and that mission statement. We have been paid with a green plastic Easter Egg, with 68 cents a guy had in his pocket and with smiles. Honestly the smiles are the best
Yelp: Nibblzcookies and Nibblzcaters
Youtube: Nibblzcookies (coming soon)
Chris Vann Nibblz Cookies