Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The American GeniusThe American Genius


Tiff’s Treats founder dishes out gooey goodies and honesty about #WhyAustin

Our #WhyAustin series takes an honest, uncensored look into the Austin business environment and culture, today talking to the cookie Gods of Texas about the challenges and rewards of business in Austin.

One of Austin’s favorite brands shares #WhyAustin

As part of an ongoing series, we’re exploring the business culture and environment in Austin. Everyone knows that over 100 people move to the city every day. Every. Day. So, instead of talking about how Austin graces nearly every desirable Top 10 list ever published, we’re asking some of the most relevant names in business to opine.

Instead of crunching numbers, we’re taking an honest pulse of what makes Austin great, but what some of the challenges are. To do that, we’ve interviewed company founders, politicians, startup investors, programmers, artists, musicians, and so many more.

Tiff’s Treats, founded by UT students

My sophomore year at the University of Texas (the largest university in America at the time), I lived with my best friend from high school in the University Towers, a private dorm. It was blocks away from this tiny little place that delivered warm cookies right do your door. It was unheard of. It was called Tiff’s Treats, and not one student hadn’t tried it before winter break.

We’re not talking classic cookies here, we’re talkin’ heaven and a chocolate factory had a glorious blessed baby that melted in your mouth. They’re the best. We stopped saving money for booze as roommates and every week, we’d go foursies on a box of warm chocolate chip cookies delivered to our door. It made my entire college experience. No exaggeration.

At the time, what we didn’t know is that the company was filed by fellow students – later, I reflected with some college pals that we had all envisioned that it was founded by Mrs. Santa Claus or maybe Julia Childs’ secret love child.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Leon and Tiffany Chen created Tiff’s Treats cookie delivery for warm baked goods, a popular brand that has grown to nearly 20 locations in Texas and remains headquartered in Austin.

Tiffany was brave enough to give a truly honest perspective of her experience as one of Austin’s favorite business leaders, check out the full interview:

When did you move to Austin? Why did you come here?

I moved to Austin when I was almost 18 to go start school at UT.

What is the most attractive part of doing business in Austin?

We love the supportive customers who are willing to try new things and to get behind a local brand.

What is your opinion on the quality of life in Austin compared to elsewhere?

I think Austin is a beautiful and fun place to live and is reasonably affordable. With good schools and good people, I think it’s an awesome place to live.

How is the business environment in Austin unique?

The business environment in Austin is very supportive. Every business owner I’ve met here has been extremely helpful and encouraging. We all want each other to succeed.

Have you ever considered relocating your company? Why/why not?

We have never considered relocating. For one thing, we love living here too much. For another, our staff would be so sad!

Since we have locations all over Texas, we have team members relocate from time to time, but the one constant is that Austin staff never want to relocate anywhere else.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Why aren’t there more millionares in Austin?

I think there are plenty of millionaires, you just can’t tell because they are so low key and down to earth.

Is Austin as small business or startup friendly as all the polls proclaim?

As far as the community and the people, it is very small business friendly. Austinites love to try out new places, even if you are very small. Your peers will be very supportive and helpful. There are so many successful mentors out there willing to help you out.

We’ve run into a few delays in permitting new projects, so in that regard, there is a bit of a hiccup when it comes to being a startup. It could really cost a small business if your rent has begun, but you are months away from being able to open for business.

What are the biggest challenges when hiring talent in Austin?

When it comes to talent, there is a lot out there. But it can be challenging to get someone to work for you when there are so many other great and exciting companies located here. Not everyone thinks of Tiff’s Treats when they are looking for a software developing job, but the truth is that we are always looking for them!

Do you agree that Austinites are among the most generous with their Rolodexes?

Yes, in my experience everyone I have met has been willing to help and share in their knowledge and connections.

Which is brightest: Austin’s past, present, or future? Why?

Austin has a fun past, an incredible present, and an exciting future. It’s neat to come from more humble beginnings as a small town and then see it grow and change in positive ways.

When I moved here, I remember seeing a smoke shop in a rundown converted house. A few years later, that house became a Starbucks. I enjoy remembering that past and hearing stories from true Austin natives. But changing and growing is also exciting and nothing we need to be afraid of.

A big thank you to Tiffany Chen

Because Austin is so popular, it is easy to simply sing it’s praises, but we are grateful to Tiffany Chen not only for creating one of our favorite treats, but for offering an honest view of the town – the good, the bad, and the awesome.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Everyone has their own reason for doing business in Austin, and Chen’s uncensored description above perfectly captures city’s heart and soul. What’s your #WhyAustin?

A special thanks to for use of this amazing picture of Tiffany Chen.

Read other #WhyAustin interviews:


Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Pingback: Austin's anxious optimism reflected in new poll - The American Genius

  2. Pingback: Rocksauce Studios CEO, Q Manning succinctly explains #WhyAustin - The American Genius

  3. Pingback: Breaking: @BattleCry_devs lays off unknown number of staff in Austin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.



Tech News

(TECH NEWS) We sat down with SXSW Director, Hugh Forrest to chat about the past, present, and future of Austin - it's an entertaining...

Why Austin

(BUSINESS NEWS) Taking a look at #WhyAustin, we chat with Amy's Ice Cream founder, Amy Simmons about doing business in one of the nation's...

Why Austin

P. Terry's founder, Patrick Terry sits down with us to honestly assess the business environment and living conditions in Austin - why it is...


(BUSINESS NEWS) As part of an ongoing series discussing the advantages and challenges of doing business in Austin, we chat with Indeed President, Chris...


The American Genius is a strong news voice in the entrepreneur and tech world, offering meaningful, concise insight into emerging technologies, the digital economy, best practices, and a shifting business culture. We refuse to publish fluff, and our readers rely on us for inspiring action. Copyright © 2005-2022, The American Genius, LLC.