Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

With excitement allow me to introduce to you today's guest, Founder and Chief Cookie Officer of Cookies & Dreams, Stephanie Sellers. Iowa native, Stephanie Sellers, discovered her love of baking as a kid peering over the counter as Mimi (her long-time babysitter) taught her the basics while they baked up a storm. her "hobby" later turned into a full-time business-- baking wedding cakes birthday cakes, & more for the community & local restaurants. Stephanie and her husband went on to open a couple of restaurants where baked goods were always featured. Then, amidst the pandemic in early 2020, Cookies and Dreams was launched. Today Cookies & Dreams has sold close to ONE MILLION COOKIES and have scaled to 4 brick and mortar locations with two more opening in the summer of 2022 throughout Iowa.

Check out episode 894 with Jack Piper as mentioned in today's episode.

Today’s feature affiliate: Bentobox. In need of a restaurant website? Click this link to find out why so many of my guests use Bentobox!

Show notes…

Calls to ACTION!!!

Favorite success quote or mantra:

  • "There is no secret; keep going."

In this episode with Steph Sellers we will discuss:

  • Mentors
  • Problem solving
  • Customer service
  • Closing a business
  • Whole sale
  • Construction and contractors
  • Staffing
  • Pop ups
  • Farmers markets
  • Mental health
  • Motherhood and entrepreneurial leadership

Today's sponsor:

This episode is brought to  you by Plate IQ, your Accounts Payable Automation and Expense Management solution. PateIQ works with 20,000 restaurants across the country. Plate IQ uses OCR "Optical Character Recognition" and Deep Machine Learning to eliminate manual data entry from the AP process. Automate the full life cycle of your invoices from General Ledger coding to bill payment via PlateIQ’s VendorPay network. With PlateIQ’s VendorPay you can seamless flow from invoice upload to paying your bills. You can earn cashback on invoices from over 180,000 vendors. With Plate IQ Vender Pay, you can see what is due when. Schedule payment by check/ACH/or Plate IQ Card. Lastly, VendorPay is also FOR Vendors. Keeping your vendors happy will give you leverage in negotiating your terms. Vendors participating in Plate IQ’s VendorPay network LOVE it because it shortens Day Sales Outstanding by 25% - AKA: Vendors get paid 25% faster. To learn more head to to get at least 25% off implementation.

Fluctuating food prices. Staffing challenges- Now more than ever you need to control costs to remain profitable. MarginEdge is a restaurant management software that lets you see your food and labor costs in real time. By automating your invoice processing and totally digitizing your back office, MarginEdge saves your team hours on paperwork and gives you instant insights to manage your prime costs. Try MarginEdge free for 30 days. No contract. No setup fee. Learn more at

Over 20,000 restaurants trust ChowNow ( for their online ordering. With ChowNow, you'll take control of your online presence, connect with more local diners, and keep your hard-earned profits. Join the free ChowNow Marketplace to reach new customers without commissions. Want to go big? Put your restaurant in the spotlight with ChowNow Direct—a full suite of branded ordering and marketing tools, including your own app! For a limited time, Restaurant Unstoppable listeners save 30% on a ChowNow Direct annual plan.

Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Epically curious
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Trying to do too much
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • Good, positive vibe
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Being a new mom
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Assume positive intent
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Say "guests" instead of "customers"
  7. What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?
  8. What's one piece of technology you've adopted within your restaurant walls and how has it influence operations?
    • Text message marketing
  9. What is one thing you feel restaurateurs don't do well enough or often enough?
    • Emotional intelligence
  10. Name one service you've hired.
  11. If you got the news that you'd be leaving this world tomorrow and all memories of you, your work, and your restaurants would be lost with your departure with the exception of 3 pieces of wisdom you could leave behind for the good of humanity, what would they be?
    • Don't lose sight of what you are passionate about
    • Don't try to do everything by yourself
    • Be mindful of emotional intelligence

Contact info:


Instagram: @idreamaboutcookies

Thanks for listening!

Thanks so much for joining today! Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for the Restaurant Unstoppable Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and I read each and every one of them.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.

Huge thanks to Steph Sellers for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!

Restaurant Unstoppable is a free podcast. One of the ways I'm able to make it free is by earning a commission when sharing certain products with you. I've made it a core value to only share tools, resources, and services my guest mentors have recommend, first. If you're finding value in my podcast, please use my links!
Direct download: Steph_Sellers_PODCAST_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT