Several years ago, you’d find Peter Phillips driving excavators around a construction site. Today he’s one of the masterminds behind the fast-growing Chip City Cookies, a cookie bakery with14 stores and counting. Tune in to learn how this co-founder went from real estate developer to bakery entrepreneur, landing a $10 million investment from Enlightened Hospitality.
Peter Phillips jumped right out of high school and into real estate. Some people turn to art for creativity, but Peter found building a project from the ground up his type of creative process. He dove all in, starting as a broker. Peter learned the project management ropes by helping with his father’s real estate development business. He wasn’t afraid to lean in and get dirty, so he became a subcontractor and learned to drive heavy equipment.
Throughout his career, he kept in touch with his high school buddy, Teddy Gailas, who worked in the food and hospitality industry. They occasionally talked about opening a side hustle together. A brainstorming session inside a small store recently available in Astoria, Queens, hit on the idea for a cookie business.
Focusing on nostalgic flavors and quality ingredients, the first store quickly had lines around the block and gained early press attention. Like many food industry businesses, the pandemic tested their business model and strategy, but Chip City Cookies endured. Their survival proved their model worked and inspired the duo to see how far Chip City could grow.
In our chat, Peter talks about how doubling down on quality and adhering to their culture have sustained and grown their business. Even as other investors showed interest, not compromising their core values paid off as they found the right investor in Shake Shack entrepreneur Danny Meyer’s Enlightened Hospitality brand.