Spreading Joy Through Gourmet Chocolate Brownies...

My name is David Kravetz and I am the co-founder of Fairytale Brownies.  Eileen Spitalny and I began Fairytale Brownies in 1992 with little more than a family recipe and a wonderful partnership.  From my earliest childhood I can remember the smell of fresh-baked brownies in our kitchen, and the shear joy I experienced sneaking that first bite when they came out of the oven.  

Eileen and I met in kindergarten and have been friends ever since.  We've shared more brownie snacks than I can possibly remember.  In the beginning we sold our gourmet brownies at street fairs and farmers' markets.  All the winter visitors in Phoenix kept asking us to ship the brownie gifts back home to friends and family.  And before we knew it, a mail-order business was born. 

At Fairytale Brownies we have the most incredible team of talented, energetic, and dedicated people.  It has been a true joy watching them grow personally and professionally over these many years.  In this blog I plan to share some of the stories and experiences that make this such an exciting and wonderful place to work.  Thanks for reading!

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Giving Gourmet Brownie Gifts and the Gift of Play

This past Saturday, November 10th a small group of Fairytale Brownies Team Members participated in a KaBOOM! playground build benefitting the De Colores family shelter in Phoenix, AZ.  KaBOOM! is a national non-profit that envisions a playground within walking distance of every child in America and Fairytale Brownies has been partnering with them beginning in 2001.  Since that time Fairytale Brownies and our fundraising partners have donated more than $100,000, along with brownies, cookies and time.

Our Fairytale Team Members are not only dedicated to providing the best fudgy chocolate brownies and gourmet cookies, they are also deeply committed to helping our community.  Each time that KaBOOM! conducts a playground build in the Phoenix area, we try and send volunteers to assist in the effort.  For this build we sent a team of six hardworking volunteers to build a playground in only six hours!

It's always hard work but also a lot of fun to be involved in a playground build.  Watching the...

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"What's Working" in Marketing Mail Order Brownies and Mail Order Cookies

On Thursday, September 20, 2012 I will be giving a presentation at the directXchange conference sponsored by NEMOA - the National Etailing & Mailing Organization of America.  NEMOA offers etailing and catalog companies as well as industry service providers of all sizes an affordable network for sharing ideas and experiences, building relationships, exploring new opportunities, working together and learning about industry trends and issues that affect their businesses.  Founded in 1947, NEMOA is one of the nation's largest and most active multichannel merchant associations dedicated exclusively to the direct marketing industry.

The directXchange event is billed as "the leading forum for direct marketers across the country to share, learn and connect."  I am honored to have been invited to participate in a conference session entitled "New Tactics, New Ideas...What's Working?"  I will be presenting the session allongside my colleague Wade Jones from the Jouneys Group.

Having been in the...

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It's Not Too Early To Start Thinking About Holiday Brownie Gifts

I know it's only June, but here at Fairytale Brownies we start thinking about the holiday season in January!  It's all about the planning because we do most of our business throughout the year during the busy December gift-giving season.  After Thanksgiving it's nothing but cookie delivery and brownie delivery  24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  

The planning gets started early in January right after the season ends.  We figure out which gifts sold well and which ones didn't.  Then it's time to start thinking about the new products that we plan to introduce for the upcoming holiday season.  Since we specialize in food gifts, we're always introducing new products and new gift packaging.  Once we decide on the new items, we start experimenting in the test kitchen or designing the new packaging.  Since all of our gift packaging is custom, we have to design it well in advance.  Once designs or new recipes are complete we need to develop prototypes and test samples so that we can take photos...

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Brownies Delivered for 20 Fairytale Years with the Help of Kim Silva

Fairytale Brownies 20th Anniversary logo

This year we are continuing to celebrate our 20 year anniversary of delivering the very best in personal and corporate food gifts featuring gourmet Belgian chocolate brownies.  Each month Eileen and I have been sharing stories and memories of the past 20 years.  I thought for this post that I would share a story about our longest employed team member, Kim Silva.  Kim has been with Fairytale Brownies for over 18 years and she has been a key part of our success.  She came to us in 1994 right out of college at Arizona State University.  Kim was originally hired on a part time basis to help us run the farmers' markets that we were doing at the time.  Fairytale Brownies was originally conceived as a wholesale business, but we decided to participate in street fairs and farmers' markets to help with our sales.  We quickly found out that customers wanted us to ship brownie gifts for them to friends and relatives all over the country.  This is how we ended up in the business of selling mail...

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Continuing Our 20 Year Celebration Of Gourmet Brownie Gifts

Each month this year Eileen and I will be sharing a blog post dedicated to our 20 year anniversary celebration.  We founded Fairytale Brownies back in 1992 with the goal of simplifying gift giving and creating the best brownies in the world.  We started baking late at night in a friend's catering kitchen and first conducted business out of my townhome.  In the beginning we wrapped all of the brownies by hand using rolls of plain saran wrap.  One of the first packaging purchases we made was labels for the individually wrapped fudgy chocolate brownies.  So for today's post, I thought I'd show some historical images of our original brownie labels.  When we went to the printer to order the first roll of labels, he asked what color ink we wanted to use.  We hadn't given it much thought and decided to go with purple on the spot.  We thought it was a very regal and bright color.  Since that time purple has become our signature color. 

At that time we didn't even have a logo for the business,...

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Celebrating 20 Years of Baking the Best Brownies

Fairytale Brownies 20th Anniversary

In October of this year Fairytale Brownies will be celebrating our 20th year. We're preparing for this celebration all year long, and both Eileen and myself (co-founders) will be contributing a monthly blog post including some stories and memories from our early years baking and selling gourmet brownies.

This month I was thinking about our original logo. I dug through my files and found the old postcard that was the inspiration for the logo (see below). We knew that a brownie, in addition to being a fudgy chocolate treat, was also a good natured elf of Celtic folklore that performed good deeds at night. This was what led us to name the company "Fairytale Brownies." In thinking about a logo we stumbled upon this postcard promoting Brownie Brand pears. The image on the postcard was from the side of an old wood crate that was used when they were picking the fruit. This was the form of advertising at that time. We loved the image and gave this postcard to the graphic designer that created...

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In The Brownie Test Kitchen

Here at Fairytale Brownies we're always thinking about new products to share with our customers.  We've built our business and our reputation on the best gourmet brownie gifts available anywhere.  But over the years we've become pretty skilled bakers and decided to put those skills to the test developing some other decadent treats.  Last fall we introduced a line of new gourmet mail order cookies, and the response has been extremely posititive.  

We plan our product line well in advance.  Even though the holiday season is now upon us, we're already thinking about NEXT year's holiday season!  So it's back to the test kitchen to fire up some new brownie recipes and also to experiment with other delicious baked goods.  One item that we've sold in the past was "blondies."  These are basically the same ingredients as a brownie, but without the chocolate (and some brownie sugar added).  We started playing around with our classic blondie recipe and came up with some yummy treats (see the photo...Read More
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Fairytale Brownies Wins Bizrate Circle of Excellence Award for the 9th Straight Year

We are all thrilled to announce that Fairytale Brownies has been awarded the 2011 Bizrate Circle of Excellence Award for the 9th straight year!  This annual award recognizes those online retailers that have provided excellent online customer experiences, as rated by their own customers.  This year, only 84 online retailers received this award, representing 1.7% of all online retailers within the Bizrate Insights North American Retailer Network.  This award confirms our dedication to providing top notch customer service, consistently collecting customer feedback, and earning exceptional customer satisfaction ratings throughout the year.  

Our Fairytale Brownies Store Ratings Pagehighlights our customer ratings from the past 90 days.  Since 2002, our gourmet brownies have been rated by over 25,000 customers.  When you order brownies online with us, you'll receive two short surveys from Bizrate - one when the order is placed, and another after the order has been shipped.  This gives our...

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Gourmet Brownies Get The Star Treatment

Last month we completed the photo shoot for our upcoming fall catalogs.  Twice a year we take new photography for our website and catalogs - once in April or May for the fall catalogs, and once in October for the spring/summer catalogs.  Each photo shoot takes months of preparation.  It all starts with deciding on our new products for the next year.  We are always trying to create new brownie gifts for our customers.  And with the introduction of Fairytale Cookies last year, we are also creating new cookie gifts.

Once our new gifts are chosen, we work on getting prototypes made.  If it's a new flavor of fudgy chocolate brownies, then our Baking Team needs to complete test batches for the photos.  If it's new custom gift packaging, then we need to design the packaging and request handmade prototypes from the manufacturer.  All of this took place earlier in the year.  

We are excited to be introducing some great new products this fall!  Our brownies will now include two new flavors of...Read More
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Brownies Delivered To The Mystery Dinner

On March 5th the whole team at Fairytale Brownies had our annual "Holiday" party.  During December we're all so busy shipping our gourmet brownie gifts that we barely have time to catch our breath, let alone have a company holiday party.  So every year we have our annual party in February or March.

This year our social committee planned a great theme for the event - a Murder Mystery Dinner Theater.  The folks at Murder Ink Productions did a great job entertaining all of us and also getting us involved in the "murder."  Most of the team members had a role to play in the dual-murder of the Godfather Guiseppe Calzone and his daughter Tootsie.  

We always have a great time at our post-season parties.  Over the years we've gone bowling, had dinner parties, and even gone to the races.  It's a great way to build team spirit and give ourselves a little well-deserved reward after we send brownies all over the world during the busy holiday season!!

We're already looking forward to next year!

Murder Ink Productions   ...Read More
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