Watch now: Creighton athlete and entrepreneur turns baking into business | Business Local

OMAHA -- A typical day for Creighton College student-athlete Eli Vedral goes one thing like this: Class. Cross nation observe. Research.

And this: Bake cookies. Ship cookies to clients. Take into consideration new cookie recipes.


Eli Vedral places streusel on his "strumble" cookies. He trademarked the time period, a mixture of streusel and crumble toppings. 

Vedral, who can be a senior this fall, is making a splash with Kookaburra Cookies, the enterprise he launched a few years in the past with a bit capital, some large concepts and his brother’s Kitchen Help mixer.

It was born throughout the pandemic when Vedral was doggedly searching for work.

“I couldn’t discover something, so I assumed ‘I’m going to start out one thing myself,'” he stated.

What he got here up with is far more than only a job. He plans to make it his profession as soon as he graduates from Creighton.

He received a cottage kitchen allow and got here up with a particular recipe that units him aside from different bakers: “Strumble cookies,” combining crumble and streusel toppings. He trademarked his new phrase.

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Then he determined to eschew conventional flavors similar to chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin and snickerdoodle.

“Each household has its favourite cookie recipes,” he stated in a current interview. “I’m by no means going to beat your grandma’s cookies, so I’m not competing together with your heartstrings.”


Eli Vedral, a Creighton student-athlete, units out a tray of lemon shortbread cookies for his firm Kookaburra on Tuesday.

He got here up with espresso cake cookies, pink velvet cookies with cream cheese Strumble, and a cookies-and-cream model, amongst others.

He used his graphic arts main to design a kookaburra hen brand, mild blue bins and clear plastic baggage to individually wrap every cookie.

He conjured up a intelligent slogan: “Are you able to Strumble?” It’s on every field.

He bakes by himself within the spacious kitchen at his household’s Wahoo house. He has been dwelling on campus however plans to maneuver house to purchase extra time to juggle work, faculty and life on the whole.

Vedral stated he began baking at an early age.

“After I was in grade faculty, my mother and father had a one-snack rule after faculty,” he stated. “I discovered if I made cookies, I might get round that rule and eat as a lot as I wished.”

That included the dough. He nonetheless indulges.

“Generally it’s the most effective half,” he stated.

His cookie creations have been impressed partly when he spent a semester in Australia by way of the Creighton World Students program. That have modified the best way he thought of meals, he stated, as a result of he was launched to unusual culinary mixtures similar to sushi burgers and banana-and-chile ice cream.

It made him marvel the way to mix streusel and cookies, “two of my favourite issues,” he stated.


Eli Vedral began his cookie firm in 2020. Now, it is beginning to obtain company orders, and at the least one brick-and-mortar retailer is deliberate.  

On a current morning, he was baking a seasonal lemon shortbread Strumble cookie — with a lot of actual butter — and gave observers samples.

One taster stated it was means higher than a preferred Utah-based chain cookie that has been promoting out because it got here to Omaha a few months in the past.

Vedral’s aunt, Stephanie Jarrett of Lincoln, stated the remark didn’t shock her.

“(That’s) not the primary one who has stated that,” she stated.

The budding entrepreneur stated Jarrett — who based Bulu, a subscription field success enterprise — has been his mentor. She stated he’s means past the place many startup enterprise homeowners are at this level.

“His enterprise savvy has been rising each month. If he has a batch of cookies that aren't as much as his customary, he crushes them and makes cookie balls,” she stated. “He monetizes them and turns them into a wholly completely different product. That’s an instance of his ingenuity.”

Jarrett stated he’s been becoming a member of teams of fellow entrepreneurs to extend his information.

“He has all the time been a really spectacular child,” she stated.

Vedral stated his household takes his kitchen takeovers in stride. His mother, he stated, makes use of it as an excuse to exit to dinner. He's certainly one of 5 children, together with former Nebraska quarterback Noah Vedral, who now performs at Rutgers. Two of his siblings are nonetheless in highschool.

None of his relations assist him bake, although they are often coerced to do dishes in a pinch. It takes 24 hours to make a batch of cookies, together with the time the dough spends within the fridge.

He stated he couldn’t estimate what number of dozen cookies he has bought thus far. His orders are steadily rising — Jarrett, who has gotten monetary briefings from her nephew, stated he’s making a living and is beginning to obtain massive company orders.

That can necessitate a brand new industrial mixer, which was alleged to arrive quickly. It additionally will ultimately result in at the least one brick-and-mortar retailer in Omaha or Lincoln after he graduates, he stated.


Eli Vedral's cookies are available quite a lot of flavors, all together with his signature topping.

For now, the cookies can be found to order on-line at and he'll both ship or clients can choose them up in Wahoo. They’re $3.50 apiece, $20 for a half-dozen and $36 for a dozen.

Vedral seems ahead to the day he doesn’t must juggle teachers, observe (he runs the steeplechase, amongst different issues) and working a enterprise. He’s additionally thrilled he’s discovered his calling.

“These are my life’s work,” he stated of his Strumble cookies. “I put my coronary heart and soul into them.”

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