In early fall quarter, 2016, freshman, Sam Schooler had an idea that would help cure the terrible disease that is the “late night sweet tooth”. He would use his expert baking and rollerblading skills in order to deliver cookies to the desperately hungry DU students.
Sam named his company RollerBakers. Every weekday since, he has been delivering freshly baked cookies by rollerblades to the doors of whoever orders them. We sat down with Sam in order to learn about his life story, his love for cookies, and how RollerBakers came to be.
Spoon: Ok, so first tell me a little about yourself; like where you’re from
SS: Hi, I am Sam Schooler. I’m from Edina, Minnesota. Um… I don’t know, what else?
Spoon: So you’re from Minnesota, like everyone else.
SS: Yes, like everyone else…
Spoon: How did you decide on DU?
SS: It was kind of like a last minute thing. I applied two days before the deadline just like, whatever, it’ll be fun! And then I chose to go here.
Spoon: So you’re in the Creativity and Entrepreneurship LLC, right?
Spoon: Ok, so how did you get involved with that?
SS: I kind of just applied to that one because I just love entrepreneurship and business and stuff even though I’m super interested in computer science and I’m a Comp Sci major. but I just love starting tech businesses and internet stuff so why not just apply that?
Spoon: So do you think you’re going to minor in business or anything like that?
SS: Probably entrepreneurship. I’m gonna see if I can fit it into my schedule.
Spoon: So did you have an interest in baking before you came to college?
SS: I actually like baking a lot. Like figuring out recipes and cooking. Part of it is because my parents just stopped making home cooked meals so I had to start making food myself.
Spoon: Would you make it for your family or just yourself?
SS: Sometimes it was for myself. Sometimes it was for my family.
Spoon: What’s your favorite thing to cook and your favorite thing to bake?
SS: I definitely enjoy cooking for breakfast. So like eggs and bacon and anything like that. And baking — anything related to cookies and then every once in awhile I like making pumpkin pie and cheesecake or stuff like that.
Spoon: Did you do anything with cookies in High School? Like giving out or selling cookies?
SS: Not really.
Spoon: Did your High School friends know that you baked?
SS: Yeah, it was actually a good way to socialize with people because I’m like, “Hey, come to my house and bake with me,” and it worked.
Spoon: So you obviously took those baking skills to college and you live in Towers, correct?
Spoon: Which helps.
SS: Yes it does.
Spoon: So how did Rollerbakers come about?
SS: So for the Creativity and Entrepreneurship class there was an assignment where you had to start your own business with $10 and you couldn’t spend more than that. So my idea was just to buy cookie dough and just bake cookies and sell them around campus and then it turned into a delivery thing because my friends texted me and said, like, “deliver them to my dorm room,” and stuff. I made so much more money than anyone else in the class and like, wait, this could actually be a business. So I kind of just kept going with it.
Spoon: So do you still continue to buy the dough?
SS: No! It’s from scratch.
Spoon: Good. That’s what I thought. I was going to catch a controversy. Scandal!
SS: Yeah, actually I buy pre-baked cookies from Safeway (says sarcastically)
Spoon: Are chocolate chip cookies kind of your specialty?
SS: Yeah, I do chocolate chip mostly because I know how to make chocolate chip the best and it’s kind of a general cookie most people like. So I just started with that one.
Spoon: Do you ever think you’re going to expand and make more kind of cookies?
SS: I think I am. I need to figure out how to do that, though. Because if I have like a bunch of peanut butter dough and no one orders peanut butter cookies I just have to throw away the dough, so it’s not going to be as profitable. I was also thinking about gluten free because DG actually requested gluten free and I don’t think it’s smart for me to do that because my kitchen is all gluten-stuff so I would need to have literally a second kitchen for gluten free. So, sorry about that…
Spoon: So take me through your regular night of delivery. Tell me what happens when you get an order.
SS: Well usually when I get an order in the middle of the night, well, middle meaning 10:30 or so, I’m already delivering cookies so I’m usually rushing like way too much but basically I either have cookies that are baked within the last 20 minutes or I have to throw in a new order of cookies into the over and then I bake them and take them out and put them in bags.
Spoon: So you usually make the dough the day of?
SS: Yeah, I make the dough the day of.
Spoon: Have you ever thought of freezing your dough?
SS: I do. I freeze leftover dough and I mix them in with dough from the next day.
Spoon: So… why rollerblades?
SS: Ok, when I was coming to DU, I kind of thought, wait, this campus is just perfect enough to rollerblade around. I’ve always loved rollerblading. I just brought my rollerblades and kind of just started that. I think, it was partially because I just rollerbladed around and people kind of knew me as the “Rollerblade Guy” to begin with, so I thought mixing that with the cookie business was a good idea.
Spoon: What’s your favorite cookie to eat?
SS: Probably chocolate chip.
Spoon: Do you have like a secret recipe? Like is your recipe your own or did you find it?
SS: I mean it is my own. I took it from one and I adjusted it based on my needs and the key thing that I do with my cookies is I never want to sell anyone, ever, a hard cookie so I adjusted my recipe to make sure they are always soft.
Spoon: I have heard that you were delivering cookies at the bars. Is that something you think you are going to continue on doing over the weekends?
SS: So Saturday I went to the bars at around 1:20 with 24 cookies in my backpack that were pre-baked and I just kind of rollerbladed down and up that block of Border and C and G and I sold cookies to people. Yeah, and every once in awhile I got someone who was like, “Oh my gosh, it’s the Rollerbaker guy!” and then I sold cookies to them, and then sometimes I experimented with rollerblading up to people without them talking to them and it was kind of weird because I felt like I was dealing weed or something.
Spoon: You should do that more often because people will definitely buy them just walking out of the bags. Get them before they go to Fat Shack and you would make a fortune. Do you think you’re going to continue with Rollerbakers next year?
SS: It depends on what my housing situation is next year. If I can easily use an oven, I think I’ll continue it. Otherwise, I might experiment on branching out with people who live in Towers to see if they want to continue doing it or stuff like that.
Spoon: Speaking of Towers, I lived in Towers last year and I really struggled with the kitchen. Maybe it was the elevation, things wouldn’t bake right, it would burn all the time — have you faced any problems in Towers?
SS: In the beginning, yes. I figured out exactly how to do it. To bake my cookies I bake them for a certain amount of time and then I have to take them out and flatten them a little bit and then I put them back in and then they cook for a little bit and its pretty perfect but it’s kind of confusing and weird. Otherwise, they just burn.
Spoon: So if you continue on with your company, how will you expand it or change it?
SS: I’ve been thinking about franchising out to other campuses and like contacting, at first my friends, and seeing if they want to do it and then having them use my website. Whatever the zip code they type in it’ll direct them to them or me. But it’s very hard to find someone who has an oven, knows how to bake, and has rollerblades.
Spoon: Well you could be like the main baker and you have little delivery men who run out and get it for you.
SS: Right now it’s not profitable enough that I can hire people for that so I either need to get more orders per night or… I don’t know.
Well maybe this article will help! Maybe we’ll advertise it to the whole world and everyone will want your cookies.
You can order some of Sam’s freshly baked cookies from 9:30pm – 12:00am on Mondays – Fridays. Cookies are $1 each with a $2 delivery charge. Basically, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be ordering from Rollerbakers ever night.
If you want to order a cookie right now (which you should) click here.
Do you want to learn more about Rollerbakers? Click here to access the Facebook page.