Local business The Dough Bug makes guilty pleasure guilt-free


The Dough Bug’s second most popular flavor is cake batter.

Emily Baehner

Two young entrepreneurs are turning a household guilty pleasure into a local business and dessert trend. Johannah Leake and Logan Cambron are the owners and creators of The Dough Bug, a pop-up shop featuring homemade cookie dough flavors that can be eaten raw or baked.

Leake, an Eastern Kentucky University graduate, and Cambron, a UK alum, developed the business concept after a post-graduation trip to Peru in May of 2017. Upon returning home with an entrepreneurial spirit, the two began the process of creating the business in 2017.  

“The hardest part of doing so was trying to figure out the best business model for us and the scope of our business,” Leake said. “Initially we considered opening a storefront but we weren’t sure how it would go over and it was going to require a lot of money to build from the ground up.”

The two bought a 1978 Volkswagen Beetle, “the dough bug,” which now travels with them to pop-up shops where they sell their cookie dough. The Dough Bug held its first pop-up in Springfield, Kentucky, at Racls on Main for the Holiday Open House. Now the Dough Bug travels to local festivals, markets and events selling a range of flavors from the best-selling chocolate chip, to sweet combinations like butterscotch and white chocolate chip with pretzel, and seasonal flavors like peppermint and white chocolate chip at Christmas.   

“We offer tons of flavors and we switch them out frequently,” Leake said. “A lot of our flavor ideas are inspired by other desserts and the seasons.”

Most of the flavors come from family or ideas found online, and Leake and Cambron tweak the recipes to their liking. Unlike store-bought cookie dough, the homemade dough is safe to eat raw, as it is made with hand-treated flour and pasteurized eggs.

Leake and Cambron plan to research ecommerce and potentially begin selling the dough online in the near future.

“Both of us have the entrepreneurial spirit in us, our business reflects not only that but also our love of food and our personalities,” Leake said.

They encourage aspiring business owners to do their research and learn from other’s mistakes.

“There is so much to learn from other people’s experience and it can really prepare you and answer questions you didn’t even know you had,” Leake said.

The Dough Bug will next be appearing at Pivot Brewing in Lexington on April 20.