Austin homegrown Tiff’s Treats hits $500M company value

Austin

Austin-based Tiff’s Treats has hit $500 million in company value. (Courtesy: Tiff’s Treats)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — What started as a delivery business founded by two sophomores at the University of Texas at Austin in 1999 has now transformed into a $500 million company.

Last week, Austin-based Tiff’s Treats announced it had added $30 million in additional funds and reached a company value of $500 million. Co-founders Tiffany and Leon Chen founded the cookie delivery business more than two decades ago, and have since expanded the company to nearly 70 retail locations throughout Texas, Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina.

“It’s kind of exciting to see those big numbers,” Leon said. “We definitely never thought we’d see that when we first started the business, that’s for sure.”

The Chens founded Tiff’s Treats while the two were sophomores at the University of Texas at Austin in 1999. And while the growth for the company is all in the numbers — nearly 70 retail locations, more than 1,700 employees and more than 200 million cookies sold — Tiffany said the two feel like the company is still on the cusp of continued growth.

Both credited the longevity of their business to as trusting the process and not messing with a good thing. Tiffany said people first fell in love with Tiff’s Treats for their freshly baked delivery approach; 20-plus years later, she said she’s happy that’s still at the foundation of the company.

“I think one of the things we always were kind of good at was sticking to our niche — we knew that what we wanted to do was bake cookies and deliver them straight out of the oven,” she said. “We think there’s some magic in that process and magic in that experience of receiving them. And we’ve always been really stubborn about sticking to exactly how that works, and having that warm cookie experience.”

As part of the latest capital funds raised, Tiff’s Treats will focus on expanding its retail store locations nationwide, as well as develop out its technology-based delivery services, the Chens said. That includes building up in the markets Tiff’s Treats has already made its mark in, as well as expanding to new markets across the country.

As for its delivery technology system, the Chens said they built a propriety delivery system years ago and are continually working to hone that system to provide the most optimal customer delivery experience.

Both Leon and Tiffany said the process of growing up, and alongside, the city of Austin has been a surreal experience. What started on UT’s campus 22 years ago as a homegrown concept has grown into a half-a-billion-dollar company, just as Austin has emerged as one of the fastest growing metro areas in the country.

But whether it’s a person who’s just moved to Austin or a multi-generational Texan, the Chens said their goal stays the same: Welcoming all into their shop with open arms, one sweet treat at a time.

“People in Austin, they’re just so willing to give something a go. They’re so willing to be supportive,” Leon said. “And from those early days, it feels like we’ve kind of grown up as a business with the city as Austin has grown up as well over the time that we’ve been here.”

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