Gina and Anthony Celli, along with their daughter Kacie, opened Celli's Chocolate Chips in Williamsburg, VA in 2018. After baking and eating thousands of cookies around their kitchen table, the family decided to begin selling the delicious, handcrafted treats through their storefront and ship them to customers across the country.
Each recipe was perfected in Gina's kitchen and taste-tested by family. She bakes each cookie with a mother's love, adding with a wink, "These are the cookies, we're very sorry to say, your mother never made for you."
After a successful finance career and raising four children, Gina Celli realized the key ingredient in her life... was cookies. No matter what she had going on, she could quickly produce a batch of her famous handcrafted cookies for school, work, or family events. So when she was contemplating her "next move" she saw cookies.
Now Gina rises before the sun to join her small team of bakers to produce cookies using the finest ingredients from around the world. They craft each cookie by hand like artists, convinced of the importance of delighting customers with the perfect cookie. Choose from a menu that includes chocolate sugar cookies, cappuccino, dark chocolate coconut, milk chocolate caramel sea salt, and of course, classic chocolate chip.
Our idea started around the kitchen table! I worked in finance my whole career before raising four children. Opening this business is my third act. We like to say I went from commodities to cookies.
Once it became clear that we were actually going to succeed, my oldest daughter Kacie left her position in NY and decided to join full-time. We work together really well.
Every small business has challenges and ours were exacerbated during the pandemic. We had just celebrated our one-year anniversary in business when the state closed down. So we've really relied on each other and our faith during this time.
As we used to work together in a previous life, my husband Anthony and I have good synergy and handle all financial aspects. Kacie is more creative and handles public relations and marketing efforts.
My favorite part of the business is baking, and getting to know our customers. Kacie loves fulfilling shipping orders. We are so grateful for all of our customers near and far. It’s so exciting to get repeat online orders of customers we have never met but love our product!
A good day looks like a busy shop with new and existing customers coming in, catching up with them, fulfilling shipping orders, and ending the day with a family dinner.
Truthfully we are never “off.” Running your own business is definitely a 24/7 mentality and a commitment. We do try to relax on weekends and travel more now that everything is beginning to open up We also love going to the Williamsburg Community Chapel on Sunday mornings outside for praise, worship, and fellowship.
We would tell families considering opening a business to "Absolutely do it!" If you have a belief and vision for something, that’s enough to get started. Relying on each other and trusting each other is important. There is no trust stronger than the trust within a family.
Come see us! We love meeting members of our community for the first time. We’re in the process of redoing our website and we do ship nationwide on our website as well as through Bloomingdales and Bergdorf Goodman if you ever want to send a local gift to someone! You can also follow along on the cookie journey on Facebook and Instagram @cellischocolatechips.