Georgia Girls: Jennifer Sawls Dollander

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Georgia Girls: Jennifer Sawls Dollander

Name: Jennifer Sawls Dollander

Family: Husband, Mike (UGA Alumni, class of 1990) Five children, Will (24), Stephanie (22), Dreyton (21), Payne (18), Addy Kate (14)

Hometown: Born in Birmingham, raised in Peachtree Corners and call Athens home!

Current Town:   Athens, Georgia

What Years at UGA: 1991-1995

School/Degree: Child Life in the School of College of Consumer and Family Sciences

Profession: After 15 years of teaching, regular and special education, I felt an itching to make a change. I’ve always believed if you want to make a change in your life, do it! This life is so short and time is precious. After much prayer, the cookie dough business presented itself on a trip to New York City with our daughter Stephanie, for her 18th birthday celebration. It was truly a lightening strike moment and I’ve never ignored these life changing moments. Less than six months after the birthday trip we opened the doors to our first Alumni location at 480 N Thomas Street in downtown Athens. Less than a year later we opened our second location in Augusta, franchised in 2019-2020 and currently have four franchises sold. Our wholesale division has exploded with over seventy locations. With Mike and I both working the business full time it’s truly a dream come true.  (1)

Board of Directors for Extra Special People, 2020-2022. Chairperson for the Leadership Committee of the American Heart Association. Alumni Cookie Dough was awarded the Georgia Business Journal’s Best of Georgia award for best dessert in Georgia, 2021. 


“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Describe Athens in five words or less: Greatest place to call home!

Restaurants and bars: Mike and I love date nights downtown. Georgia Theater Rooftop and concerts, Hybar, Creature Comforts, The Place and Paloma Park are among our favorites. Our all-time favorite will always be FIVE Bar, it’s where we had our first date! Their Jalapeno Margarita is to die for! (2)

Brand / Shops: I am not a brand girl! I am however a huge bargain shopper, I love really nice things at great prices!

Athens/campus landmark: Just driving into downtown still gives me chills. It’s such a special place … it’s where I have so many wonderful memories as a student, it’s where I raised my children, it’s where Mike and I had our first date, and now it’s the place of our business. I still have to pinch myself, sometimes it feels like a dream. (3)

Memory while in school: Walking through North Campus is a favorite, then and now. It’s a special place and often feels magical. I also loved living in the AOII House, what treasured memories in such a gorgeous house. I absolutely love passing by the house and seeing that beautiful red door.  

Gameday ritual/plan: We love tailgating with friends in the Reed Hall Quad, enjoying yummy apps and cocktails, and of course dressed head to toe in red and black. 

Tailgate Recipe:

Cookie Dough Brownie Bites

Make bite size brownie cups, top with Alumni Cookie Dough Red Velvet Dough and drizzle with melted chocolate. It’s DOUGH-licious! (4)

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Cheri Leavy is a connector, cheerleader and marketing consultant for fellow entrepreneurs. Constantly on the lookout for the newest talent in the South, Cheri has a passion for helping entrepreneurs create and share their brand storytelling through her endeavors - The Southern Coterie • guide2athens • Bulldawg Illustrated