Donna B’s Bakery is about to celebrate 24 years in business this summer and I can’t believe I only discovered it last year.
Named for its founder, Donna Bielke Billman, the Laguna Niguel-based operation turns out what is arguably among THE best gourmet cookies, cookie dough, custom cakes, wedding cakes and yummy desserts in South County.
I just brought an assortment of her cookies home a few days ago and it was all I could do to keep my kids (and my husband for that matter) from eating them all in one sitting.
They are so good, it’s not surprising to find out that Donna’s entire business model started with her dough. As a single mother in 1987, Donna sold her cookie dough once a month to fellow employees in order to earn extra money to pay the bills.
We will be expanding in September and serving breakfast pastries, cinnamon rolls and coffee!
Donna started out small, giving out samples at local nail and hair salons. Before long, she was so busy that she was forced to rent a space at a local bakery to fulfill orders. Not long after that, she bought the bakery and the rest as they say “is history.”
Donna’s business may have started with her signature cookie dough, but today, Donna B’s Bakery also turns out one-of-a-kind seasonal cakes, special occasion cakes, beautiful wedding cakes, “new home cookie boxes,” care packages and sweet treats for virtually every imaginable event.
Donna and her staff do cookie dough fundraising for local schools, churches, organizations and “anybody who has an entrepreneurial spirit who might need to make money.”
“I believe our business is different then other bakeries because I love to help fund raise our cookie dough and cookies,” says Donna. “I love to see people succeed by teaching them how they can raise money for their causes with our products. I believe what goes around comes around. When you give, it comes back to you tenfold. I don’t worry about being a millionaire on paper, but I would rather be a millionaire in my heart.”
In terms of growing a successful venture, Donna agrees that while having the extra money on hand would be nice, everything good comes in its own time.
“I think most businesses think that they should be making tons of money right away. I have tried to stay being a debt-free bakery. I try not to overspend and keep within my means,” she says. “I really want to expand to more cookie dough fundraising. I believe now after being in business as many years as I have, I could possibly franchise Donna B’s Bakery. I also think I am ready to go into the grocery stores and go nationwide into specialty stores.”
But for now, I have to say I’m pretty happy Donna B’s is so easily accessible for those of us lucky enough to live in South OC. Mention South County Magazine for the following specials: Buy Six Cookies, Get Three Free!; $5 Off a Tub of Cookie Dough; and 10% Off Any Cake Order.
Connect with Donna by visiting the bakery at 26022 Cape Drive, Suite B in Laguna Niguel, by calling 949.367.0100 or by visiting www.donnab.com.