Students open “Raw,” an edible raw cookie dough shop

Bailey Dahlquist, WKU junior, and Chloe Hohlbein, WKU senior, prepare for the opening of their raw cookie dough business. Dahlquist and Hohlbein not only hope to draw in the business of fellow WKU students but the children and families in Bowling Green, Ky., as well. “[Bowling Green] is a tight knit community and I think that’s the greatest thing about it,” Dahlquist said. “We want to give back to the community just like they’ve given to Western and given to all the success that they bring the Western students.”

Laurel Deppen

Bailey Dahlquist grew up frequenting edible raw cookie dough shops in the Chicago area. Now a junior studying entrepreneurship at WKU, Dahlquist decided to open up his own edible raw cookie dough store.

Set to open in early February, Raw is located at 432 E. Main Ave. in downtown Bowling Green across from Fountain Square Park, an area Dahlquist said was in need of more foot traffic.

“I would love to see all of these businesses around here either being shops, clothing stores, restaurants, bars…anything that could get a little bit of foot traffic down here,” he said. “This is such a cool little area. We’re two blocks away from campus.”

Dahlquist hopes not only to generate publicity in the Square, but to give back to the Bowling Green community. Because it is close to campus, Dahlquist hopes campus organizations, including sororities and fraternities, can use Raw as a place to fundraise.

Raw will focus on customers of all ages, not just college students. Dahlquist spoke of plans to collaborate with elementary and middle schools in the area. He said students with a certain GPA will be able to get a free scoop of cookie dough.

“Bowling Green is very in depth with WKU,” Dahlquist said. “You can touch most of Bowling Green through WKU, but the people that you can’t, that’s who we’re also going after.”

Raw plans to expand its reach further. Dahlquist said that each month, a portion of sales earned on cookie dough will be donated to an organization. Dahlquist used the example of February as Heart Health Month, during which proceeds would be donated to the American Heart Association.

Chloe Hohlbein, a WKU senior studying public relations and a Raw collaborator, recalled how Dahlquist first approached her with the idea for the business.

“I never thought it would come together, but little did I know he had already done the research, called a realtor, set up tours to look at places,” Hohlbein said. “It came together almost too easy. It was one thing after another. It all just fell into place. That’s what made us know that it needed to happen.”

Dahlquist and Hohlbein recalled several early morning trips to the Barren River District Health Department in order to make Raw a reality.

“You’ve got to know the ins and outs,” Dahlquist said. “You have to know everything. You have to cross your t’s and dot your i’s. That was one thing that I knew nothing about.”

Dahlquist commented on how being young and being an entrepreneur aren’t mutually exclusive.

“Age doesn’t stop anything,” he said. “You can really make anything happen.”

Dahlquist and Hohlbein emphasized the importance of the communities of both WKU and Bowling Green.

“I think Western grads seeing Western students doing things really help out also,” Dahlquist said. “As we all know, it’s a tight knit community, and I think that’s the best part about it. We want to give back to the community just like they’ve given to Western.”

With the help of Hohlbein, family and friends, Dahlquist managed to turn Raw from a concept into a set plan.

“It’s cool walking in and realizing that it’s something that we did,” Dahlquist said. “We didn’t hire out for anything. We all did it.”

Features reporter Laurel Deppen can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected].