When you ask Michelle Silberman, our Chief Cookie Officer, about the story of Snackadabra, she will tell you her idea of merging cookies and milk into one dessert started formulating in her head during Mrs. Wheeler’s 7th-grade class. At the time, Michelle and her best friend, Dana, were just two girls talking about ideas. It wasn’t until Michelle’s first year at Drexel University that she thought of actually making them. She pitched the idea to her entrepreneurship class, and he told her that she should prototype the product and see if it works. After a lot of patience, bags of flours, and endless recipes, Michelle came up with the perfect Cookie Cup - a snack able to hold both hot and cold beverages.
For many, the story of how the cookie crumbles is just that of a 7th grader's dream, but the Cookie Cup story started years and years ago when Michelle’s parents left Russia to come to the United States in search of a better future. This was her first exposure to the entrepreneurial mindset. “It takes courage to leave your country with nothing to your name to explore new possibilities,” Michelle said. Seeing that her family took a big risk inspired Michelle to always do more. She wanted to make her family proud and show them that what they did was not in vain. Her family started from scratch in America, so it only made sense for her to start her company from scratch; she actually makes her own Cookie Cups!
Michelle’s family is filled with entrepreneurs; her parents and grandparents had businesses. In fact, her parents always asked her and her brother, Brendan, for their opinions about how their business was going. It was an open conversation that helped the kids develop a love for business and entrepreneurship from an early age. “I grew up being able to express my ideas and concerns about my family’s business, and I am extremely thankful for this,” Michelle said.
Michelle’s love for food also ties back to her family. She reminiscences all the times' food was involved in her life, from dinner reunions, high holidays, to friends coming over - every gathering involved food. For her, food is the connection between cultures and people. It is something that never fails to make people happy and that is why she is so joyful of creating a product that makes people happy.
She believes that there is more to Snackadabra than just cookies and that her Cookie Cups are always shared in happy moments. The Cookie Cups make her so happy, that she doesn’t feel like she is actually working, but rather she is doing something that she really loves. Her company is constantly growing, acquiring people who have a sweet tooth for business and entrepreneurship. Her team -that feels more like a family- loves the business so much, that every Monday they get together for a Cookies N' Milk Brainstorm session.
Michelle envisions her Cookie Cups being displayed at every Whole Foods across the country, and that the cups will be known by everyone. She actually hopes that Snackadabra will be the synonym of Cookie Cups, just like Kleenex is for tissues.
By: Orly Margulis