I’m just returning from this year’s Fancy Food show in San Francisco. Yep! I ate my way through it AGAIN. I honestly don’t know how anyone gets through one of the industry’s largest food industry trade shows without a daily bottle of Tums (not a promotional plug, I promise). This year’s trend seemed to be chocolate, chocolate and MORE chocolate. So, you KNOW Sheila G. was on board with that!
This year, we were proud to debut our new Organic Brownie Brittle line, which has been in the making for several years. If you know anything about me, you know I won’t let anything leave our production facility with my name on it without it being outstanding. And it took us a bit to get it right. I was determined to create an organic version that didn’t have any of that chalky, bitter taste. And I have to say, we REALLY got it right.
The Fancy Food show is put on by the Specialty Food Association, an organization that does an outstanding job of showcasing brand leaders, as well as emerging brands. It’s where we launched our product five years ago. Which is why I wanted to highlight it as this month’s blog topic. I’m calling it my #TBT (throwback Thursday) blog. I’m reminiscing a bit, because I found myself repeatedly be asked by other start-up brands for advice on how we achieved such phenomenal growth and success in such a short time.
In January 2011, our product made its debut in a stand-up pouch, and was featured in the “What’s Hot/ What’s New” section of the Winter Fancy Food Show that year. I couldn’t afford to go myself, so I sent my product along with a distributor we had used at that time (that distributor is a story for another #TBT). The product was an immediate hit at the show and completely took off. Orders began rolling in right away.
We made it to the Summer Fancy Food Show that same year, and were met with tremendous enthusiasm and along with it, came order after order. But then in January of 2012, it was almost lights out for us due to a bad partnership. Yep, you can end up kissing a lot of frogs when trying to build a business. Brownie Brittle was no exception to that.
The good news is, we landed on our feet and have had the pleasure of being at every Fancy Food show since then with more innovative twists on our product from flavors and package sizes to the brand new Organic line we’re launching. I’m telling you, scrumptious! Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter (just type your email address in the “join our newsletter” window at the top center of the page) to be the first to know when it’s available and where.
This year’s Winter Fancy Food Show had two extra special twists for me personally. First, my husband, Harry B. Mains, was inducted into the Specialty Food Hall of Fame . My kids and Harry’s were there to help celebrate and witness his well-deserved accolades. Second, a four-page article was featured in the Specialty Food Magazine highlighting the work we’ve done with Cookies for Kids’ Cancer – an organization near and dear to my heart and highlighted on the backs of every single bag of Brownie Brittle.
This Fancy Food show allowed me to reflect. It’s in these moments that I realize this Brownie Brittle journey has enabled me to find the love of my life, to innovate and build something amazing, to pay it forward by helping other entrepreneurs who are in varying stages of their own journeys, and to give back to others in need. Now I ask you, what’s your journey all about? Tell us on our Brownie Brittle Facebook page or on my Facebook page using #TBT – even if it’s NOT Thursday!