Graduates of CNM: Kristin Dowling

Kristin studied Culinary Arts at CNM and went on to co-found Rude Boy Cookies, a wildly successful sweets shop here in Albuquerque
February 24, 2022

Kristin Dowling credits her love of baking to her grandma. They used to make all kinds of creations together and her grandma was always encouraging, even when Kristen would come up with wild ideas. 

“She gave me tons of creative freedom and never said anything I made was gross. That freedom was important,” Kristin says. 

Fast forward several years, and that love of baking is what eventually helped Kristin open Rude Boy Cookies back in 2014 along with her co-founder Michael Silva.  

The idea for Rude Boy Cookies came up while Kristin was still a Culinary Arts student at CNM, and they dove in head first once she graduated. 

“There were a lot of late nights baking in my kitchen at home where we were perfecting our recipe development,” Kristin says. “I baked so many cookies that my friends and family all got sick of them.” 

Kristin Dowling at Rude Boy Cookies

The company name refers to fans of Ska music because Micheal was in a Ska band. Kristin says she and Michael chose cookies because that medium gave them tons of room to experiment, and because everyone loves cookies. 

“I don’t think I have ever met a person who was unhappy to get a cookie,” she says. “Cookies are an easy and fun way to bring joy to a lot of people.” 

The business has been on a steady growth path and is now a household name in Albuquerque. Back in 2017, Kristin’s skills and dedication also helped her land a spot on Food Network’s “Christmas Cookie Challenge,”—a competition she went on to win.

Staffing has never been a problem because Kristin is able to pull graduates from the same Culinary Arts program where she received her training. Right now she has three CNM grads on her staff. 

“My training at CNM was amazing and I loved all the help and feedback I got from my instructors, and the same is true for the graduates I’ve hired. They come out of school ready to go and all I have to do is help them put on the finishing touches and familiarize them with our business,” Kristin says. 

At the moment Rude Boy specializes in a couple different areas. Kristin says the company will always offer crowd favorite cookies—everything from chocolate chip to peanut butter—but is also known for intricate and beautiful cookie decorations that showcase everything from portraiture to company logos.

“Cookies are a wide-open canvas and we love dreaming up new ideas,” she says.

Rude Boy Cookies

Rude Boy regularly pumps out thousands of cookies, but also has the ability to scale up when a really large order comes in. One Christmas, the store got a single order for 9,000 dozen cookies (that’s 108,000 individual cookies) and was able to deliver no problem. 

“We’re small, sure, but we’re a full-on cookie factory,” Kristin says. 

Going forward Kristin says growth is her main plan. She’d like to open more locations and she and her team want to keep pushing the ball forward when it comes to cookie development. They want to keep experimenting with and perfecting recipes and there will always be new and exciting designs. 

“The sky really is the limit with cookies,” she says. 

Learn more about CNM’s Culinary Arts program here.