|Lady Gaga-designed black and white cookies|
An entrepreneur who grew up on Long Island, N.Y., Auerbach's friends and family were used to him brainstorming business ideas, most of which were nixed. In 2001, living in New York City and seeing the proliferation of niche restaurants and bakeries, he came up with the idea based on one of his favorite treats -- the concept of a bakery that sold customizable black and white cookies (the icing can be changed in color, design and flavor preferences). It seemed to get a lot of interest, he says. With all the positive reinforcement, Auerbach immediately realized no one had seized that name for a web page and registered Blackandwhitecookies.com in 2001. (He picked up blackandwhitecookie.com just this year, he says.) But Auerbach didn't do much else until 2005 when the company's legal name was filed.