“I now feel I can go farther with my business…”

Special moments with those we love can sometimes spark inspiration for a business idea. Just ask Laryssa, owner of Buddy’s Breakfast Cookies who created a business based on her dad’s health-conscious cookie recipe.


Laryssa has wonderful memories of baking with her dad when she was growing up and enjoyed watching him bake with her own kids over the years.


The kids called him Buddy instead of Grandpa or Pop. He called them ‘buddy’ too.


To better understand Laryssa, we asked her about her career prior to Buddy’s Breakfast Cookies. She shared she has a varied background. She stayed home with the children when they were younger and afterwards taught kindergarten for 13 years.


She jokes that teaching kindergarteners taught her a lot about business.


“Being responsible for 22 to 25 five-year-olds helped me prepare for being a business owner. Always having to know what the children were doing, make a plan for the day, etc. It is the same with running a business.”


Laryssa earned her Nutrition Coach certification while she was teaching. She understood the importance of fresh and locally grown food because she always ate homegrown food on her family’s small farm growing up.


Due to her love of fresh food and healthy meals, one of her friends encouraged her to work part-time at a local food prep business to supplement her teacher’s salary.


While working both jobs it became clear to her that it was time to make a change. About that time, the owners of the business offered Laryssa a full-time management position.


She left teaching and stepped into managing the store. It aligned with her belief in the importance of fresh, home-cooked meals and how that impacts nutrition.


After being with the business for a year and a half, the owners wanted to sell which gave her the opportunity to buy the business. Laryssa developed Buddy’s Breakfast Cookies during this time as an addition to the offerings on the menu.


“The cookies were very well received,” she said.


Buddies Breakfast Cookies which we made to simply add another option to the menu took off! After a year of owning the business and creating Buddies Breakfast Cookies, it was time to make another decision.


“From a product standpoint, being able to offer nutritious food through quality ingredients is important,” said Laryssa.


She saw the correlation (not only in her students, but her own kids) of the food children ate vs. their behavior in the classroom.


“When you feed them whole, nutrient-dense food, you are not only feeding their bodies, but their minds as well.”


With this in mind, Laryssa’s family closed their meal prep business and began solely focusing on building Buddy’s Breakfast Cookies in early 2023 to focus on what was important to them and also deliver a product that could benefit others.


She first engaged with REI Oklahoma through our OKC Women’s Business Breakfast. Laryssa then checked out our calendar of events and attended one of our free online trainings, ‘Funding Your Business with Business Grants.’


Laryssa then met with our Women’s Business Center and had a one-on-one meeting to learn more about the Women Owned Business Certification process and how that could help her business.


She recently met with team members and one of our partners to learn how to use a free research and database tool to help expand her business’ reach and learn about market competitors.


To say Laryssa jumped in feet first to build her business and work with REI Oklahoma is an understatement.


Currently, Laryssa sells her product through Edmond Farmers Market, Door to Door outreach asking coffee shops and other retail businesses to offer her cookies for purchase in their stores. She also uses a cloud-based platform that allows her to connect to other businesses who might like to purchase her product. Laryssa also offers wholesale sales through her website.


“We hear healthy is so gross all the time…what better way to see healthy can be good than through a cookie,” shared Laryssa. “It is exciting to see someone realize ‘This is healthy? Because it is so good’.”


When asked about her business journey and the success of Buddy’s Breakfast Cookies, Laryssa said, “I never saw myself as a businesswoman so being here now is very special.” She continued, “It sets an example to my children that we can do something unexpected. I hope and pray we are able to pass this onto our children. It’s a business full of wholesomeness and goodness that I hope they will carry on.”


Laryssa was open to share that even though she’s only utilized REI Oklahoma’s programs and resources for six months, her confidence has grown “tremendously since working with REI Oklahoma.”


“As a business owner, I feel like it is just me. That no one I know, or see on social media, has the struggles, challenges or fears that I have. No one else understands.”


She shared that being able to connect with a group of other business owners allows her to see that she’s not alone. Some challenges other business owners face are similar to hers, while others are tasked with completely different challenges. Laryssa believes she can learn from both groups which also helps her feel connected, supported and encouraged.


“This connection breeds and builds confidence,” Laryssa went on to say.


“Because of my engagement with REI Oklahoma’s Women’s Business Center, I now feel I can go farther with my business, and I am ready to take the next step.”


Laryssa shared with us why being a business owner is important to her. “Being my own boss provides flexibility. In that flexibility I have found freedom.”


She is able to able to focus on what is most pressing to her, whether it is related to her business or her family. She gets to make the call on what is most important and not be told by someone else what they or the company feels is most important in that moment.


“Having flexibility is freeing.”


Laryssa went on to explain, “Being flexible does not mean that you don’t have a plan or structure. As a business owner it is very important to have structure and be disciplined. In this you decide your own priorities, which allows for flexibility.”


When asked what her experience was like working with REI Oklahoma and what she would say to other business owners looking for resources, Laryssa shared, “I have already referred a few women-owned businesses to REI Oklahoma and hope they access these resources. I have been met with professionalism and kindness from the beginning. Utilizing the available free and/or low-cost resources is a smart business move.”


Laryssa, like many of REI Oklahoma’s clients know that our partners and donors allow us to have the funding needed to offer the various programs and services we do.


She wanted to say, “Thank you! For those transitioning to small business ownership from another career field can be daunting and overwhelming. Through the resources available at REI Oklahoma, the ‘impossible’ wall is broken down and being successful is attainable!”


She went onto say, “Because of your generosity I am learning how to build a thriving business to impact our community now and for years to come.”


Thank you, Laryssa, for trusting us with your business especially since it is part of your father’s legacy.


Laryssa Lolli, Owner
Buddy’s Breakfast Cookies
(405) 906-7400 | buddysbreakfastcookies@gmail.com
Buddy’s Breakfast Cookies Facebook Page

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