Craveworthy Brands—a platform of emerging and legacy fast-casual chains—is adding cookie concept Dirty Dough to its portfolio.
The company will acquire an undisclosed, but significant interest in the brand.
Dirty Dough has more than 55 locations, 10 food trucks, 40-plus shops under development, and 450 franchises sold, making it the largest entity under Craveworthy’s umbrella. The chain is projected to double in size over the next year. Craveworthy founder and CEO Gregg Majewski will take over the chief executive role of Dirty Dough.
“We are so excited to bring the Dirty Dough team into the Craveworthy family. As a platform company with our experience and capabilities, this deal is a perfect fit because this is what we do best,” Majewski said in a statement. “We super-charge amazing brands and give them what they need to thrive. Bennett and his team have grown very fast in a very short amount of time, which makes this the perfect point in their development trajectory for a partner like Craveworthy Brands.”
Utah-based Dirty Dough is battling for market share amid the “cookie wars,” which has seen a host of emerging dessert concepts announcing franchise deals and growth plans in recent years. Founded by Bennett Maxwell, the company began inside an Arizona State apartment in 2018. The first brick-and-mortar location debuted in March 2020.
The chain gained national attention after Crumbl—the biggest player in the cookie space—filed a lawsuit in 2022 accusing Dirty Dough and Crave Cookies of trademark infringement in terms of packaging and design.
Both Maxwell and Crumbl CEO Jason McGowan shared their displeasure over the legal matter on social media, including this viral advertisement from Dirty Dough.
In the fall, Dirty Dough and Crumbl reached a settlement in front of the U.S. District Court in Utah, but exact details weren’t made public. The agreement paved the way for Craveworthy to make the acquisition.
Similar to Crumbl, Dirty Dough has a rotating menu of flavors, with some classics coming back each week. However, the brand differentiates itself by building each cookie from the inside out, with layers, mix-ins, and filling within the dough.
“Bringing Gregg on board and aligning with Craveworthy Brands marks a pivotal moment for Dirty Dough,” Maxwell said in a statement. “Gregg’s proven track record and Craveworthy’s innovative brand portfolio open up exciting new horizons for us. We’re thrilled to embark on this journey together, elevating the Dirty Dough experience to new heights.”
Dirty Dough is the 11th brand to join Craveworthy. The platform was formed toward the end of 2022 when it acquired existing chains Wing it On! and The Budlong Hot Chicken and created Krafted Burger + Tap and virtual concept The Lucky Cat Poke Company. It later added Mongolian Concepts Restaurant Group, the parent of Genghis Grill, Flat Top Grill, and BD’s Mongolian Grill. Other subsidiaries on the horizon are Mediterranean brand Soom Soom and virtual concepts Scramblin Ed’s (breakfast sandwiches, wraps, and bowls) and Pastizza (Italian favorites).
In 2024, the Craveworthy development team set a goal to award 125 franchise locations by year-end. The company also wants to acquire more chains, open 17 corporate units, and debut 60 virtual restaurant stations this year. The platform projects $1 billion in systemwide sales within approximately five years.
The company is currently using regulated crowdfunding to gather more growth capital.