07: Michelle Silberman

michelle silberman

If you’d like to purchase ChoAmo Cookie Cups, you can do so directly here, or from The Grommet.

You can even find 2-packs on GoPuff!

Show Notes:

  • ChocAmo Cookies (Pronounced Choke-Amo)

  • Michelle is the founder and Chief Cookie Officer

  • Ran a Kickstarter campaign in November 2016

    • Goal of $18,000

    • Exceeded it by slightly over $2,000

    • Used funding to purchase a custom attachment and a machine

    • Increased production by 500%

    • In hindsight, Michelle would have picked another month to avoid the election cycle

  • We recorded the interview in the Perlstein building at Drexel

  • ChocAmo is currently reworking their brand story — here is where it stands now:

    • In 7th grade Michelle and her best friend had the idea to combine cookies and milk, everyone’s favorite snack, so there was “no mess, no cleanup”

    • The idea resurfaced when she was in an entrepreneurship class at Drexel

    • She pitched it and her professor encouraged her to prototype it

    • Michelle went back to her dorm, used a muffin pan with nestle dough and burnt half of them

    • Thus, ChocAmo was born

  • Having a support system has helped keep Michelle sane

  • Argyle Interactive helped ChocAmo with a rebrand last year, making their logo pop more

  • Biggest Mistake: Early on in ChocAmo, she approached one co-packer (an external manufacturing company) to outsource the production, but the company offered to do it at a high cost

    • She declined the offer and kept producing cookie cups herself

    • She wished she would have worked with him on the cost to bring it down some

    • However, Michelle wouldn’t take it back because she’s learned so much from handling the production herself

  • Michelle is from the suburbs of NYC in North Jersey

    • She had all intentions of moving back to NYC upon graduation

    • But Yuval Yarden, the former executive Director of PSL reached out to Michelle, asking if she could feature her in an article about founder who are staying in Philadelphia

    • Yuval applied a little pressure and got Michelle to stay so she could highlight Michelle

    • She has been here for 7 - 8 years

  • She loved the art and culture scene in Philadelphia — all the museums, murals, street art, music, etc.

  • Philadelphia has changed both in terms of growth and culturally — so many millennials are moving into Philadelphia and there are a lot of startups

    • A lot of “hustle and bustle”

  • ChocAmo is working on their pitch deck to search for investors

  • Michelle loves dessert, but wants to leave behind a greater legacy for her family

    • She is first generation American

    • Her grandfather came here with nothing, but now all of his grandchildren have either graduated college or are currently enrolled

    • She wants to prove herself

    • Michelle wants people to know that you can come here and do anything if you put in the work

    • Her mom’s side is from Russia and her father’s side is from Latvia

  • Find ChocAmo in Whole Foods (Art Museum Location) and DiBruno Bros.