Doughp, which serves edible cookie dough cooked or raw, was created after founder Kelsey Moreira rekindled her love for baking after a battle with alcoholism. Moreira, who founded the dessert company in San Francisco, shared her story with Women in Retail Leadership Circle at our On the Road event in Dallas last week.

Moreira described how she suffered from anxiety and depression in her young adult years while working at Intel. Jumping into the corporate world wasn’t easy on her mental health, and she combated that stress by leaning on alcohol. In 2015, she decided to get sober — which she calls one of her biggest life accomplishments — and began dedicating time to her passion for baking.

“I was living in the kitchen nights and weekends,” recalled Moreira. “I was baking cookies, cupcakes, cakes, brownies, pancakes … you name it, I was making it, and I was having a blast. I was filling all of my time with what was really like a meditation for me in early sobriety.”

Moreira launched Doughp in 2017 after developing a recipe that made the cookie dough safe to eat raw. An appearance on “Shark Tank” helped the business to scale quickly.

Moreira started the Doughp for Hope initiative with the goal of breaking the stigma around mental health and addiction recovery. A percentage of each cookie dough sale is donated to the SHE RECOVERS nonprofit, whose mission is to connect, support and empower women in or seeking recover. With that mindset, Moreira created a robust mental health policy for employees at Doughp, which is a designated recovery-friendly workplace.

“It was important for me to not just be saying, ‘You guys should totally care about yourselves and take care of yourselves,’ and then my employees are just dying and struggling and feeling the burnout,” Moreira said.

She offers her employees no-questions-asked mental health days, has a “Mental Health Monday” Slack channel for employees to share their highs and lows, and makes sure to show vulnerability from the top.

“I’m not afraid to show when I’m having a real bad bout of anxiety or when I’m not doing so well maintaining my balance with mental health, so I share that,” Moreira told the audience.

Moreira approaches her own mental health wellness journey like a recipe card. If she can get a few things on her wellness checklist done — yoga, journaling, meditating, calling a friend — each week, then she’s satisfied.

“My best tip for wellness for my own mental health is to be easy on myself,” Moreira said.

Women in Retail Leadership Circle members can view Moreira’s full keynote session from the Women in Retail | Dallas On the Road event here. Not a member? Apply today!