The real recipe for success behind the phenomenal baked goodies of Fairytale Brownies isn't their moist delicious brownies. It's co-creator, Eileen Spitalny, who is one of the geniuses behind these handmade melt-in-your mouth morsels. Today, Fairytale Brownies dominate the market because of their high quality product and superior customer satisfaction. I am so excited to talk to Marin mompreneur Eileen Spitalny to learn more about her sweet success.
First can you announce the details of your holiday giveaway on Ronnie's Awesome List?
THREE lucky Ronnie's Awesome List subscribers will win one of these Box Gift Towers. To enter, please share a favorite holiday baking memory. Either leave a comment here or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your entry for your chance to win one of these awesome packages each valued at $57.95. We will ship this prize anywhere in the continental United States. Entries close on Friday, December 11th and three winners will be chosen.
WARM WISHES: These whimsical towers are adorned with friendly forest critters and wrapped with a white satin bow. Inside this 3-box tower they'll find a sampliing of mouthwatering Fairytale Brownies, soft Fairytale Cookies and buttery Fairytale Bars.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS: Charm them this holiday season with this winter forest, snow-themed nesting boxes in brilliant shades of blue and turquoise. Inside this three box tower, they'll find heart-warming helpings of Fairytale Brownies, snack-size Fairytale Sprites, bite-size Magic Morsels, chewy Fairytale Cookies and buttery Fairytale Bars.
MERRY CHRISTMAS: It will be a joyous celebration when they receive our vintage-inspired three box tower. These keepsake boxes are filled with an assortment of delightful treats.
Where can one get their hands on your yummy baked goodies?
We are a mail order company that ships worldwide, visit brownies.com on any mobile device or call the bakery at 800-531.5209 or 800.324.7982.
Can you tell me about this seasons selection?
This season was all about fun, vintage, whimsical designs (as shown above) and our new flavors this season include Coconut brownie and classic Chocolate Chip cookie.
What did you do before venturing into Fairytale Brownies?
I worked for Univision the Spanish television network in sales and market research – loved it too!
How did you come up with the idea of setting up a baked goods business? My kindergarten friend David and I wanted to create something, a brand, be our own boss and we love good food! This is a family brownie recipe; we started in 1992 in a friends’ catering kitchen in Scottsdale, AZ; our dream was to be like Ben & Jerry’s!
Partnerships fail more often then they succeed. Besides a shared vision, how did you know that David Kravetz was the person you could partner with?
I have known and trusted David since I was 5 years old. We complement each others skills, strengths and weaknesses. We also know how to communicate and listen to one another.
Taking the risk to start your business must have been both thrilling and frightening. How did you guide yourself through those scary moments?
Having a road map and a business plan is important. We always asked others we admired for help. We have an Advisory board we met with quarterly and one of my University entrepreneur professors. Our advisory Board was comprised of experts on our current areas of growth or where we needed the most strategic guidance. I continue to meet with fellow entrepeneurs so we can discuss anything together in a confidential format.
You could sell retail or wholesale. Why set your business up online?
Since we are perishable with high quality ingredients (a pricier but super yummy treat); we liked the control of baking our product at our bakery and then shipping it directly to your doorstep or office.
What was your first big break?
Food writer Florence Fabricant from the New York Times in 1995 recommended us – amazing response!
We have also been on the Food Network shows; Unwrapped and Food Finds. We continue to dream to be on Oprah’s O list someday and the new Unwrapped 2.0.
Were there any rough spots when you were getting started?
So many to share…we do learn from them all.
We started in the fall of 1992 and had a great season but didn’t realize we had just started a 4th quarter (holiday) business. Soon business slowed and then the Arizona heat came so we learned about insulated packaging. We continued to sell at as many farmer’s markets possible too so we could add names to our database.
Any advice you can share with other entrepreneurs?
Ask others for help, doesn’t mean you have to listen but be open and ask. Know your competition. Hire a great team and don’t be a bottleneck!
Now that you’ve made your home in Marin, what you think about life in the Bay Area?
We love it here, been wanting to get here for years and found a natural break from our daughter’s old school so we went for it. Lots of business opportunity for me to explore here for Fairytale Brownies as we do custom branded packaging and we have profit sharing for our employees so they love the growth opportunities also.
What nonprofits make your heart sing?
KaBOOM! which builds playspaces, David and I met on the playground and Share our Strength; too many kids going to bed hungry everyday in the US. And super close to my heart is the arts; two favorites are Headlands Center for the Arts and ASU Art Museum.
Eileen Spitalny is the co-founder of Fairytale Brownies, the most delicious confections online, bar none. She lives in Mill Valley with husband and former baker at Fairytale Brownies Michael, daughter Bebe and pound puppy Cutie. To place an order of for more information, visit the Fairytale Brownies website, Twitter @ftbrownies, Facebook , Pintrest, YouTube, and Instagram.