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The greatest brownies in all of Fairyland
by Ray Jutkins

The first time I met Eileen Shrout-Spitalny, she gave me a Fairytale Brownie..."The greatest brownies in all of Fairyland".

And...it was!

There is nothing like personal experience in marketing. Nothing can replace personal hands-on touch and feel. . .and in this case, taste. . .when evaluating a product. Every time I've seen Eileen since that first visit, she has a bag full of Fairytale Brownies to share. And share them she does...with everyone she meets. Personal marketing.

I've not been to her office. I've not been in her bakery. We've met only at Phoenix Direct Marketing Club events, over the telephone and through the mail-box. Yet, I feel I know Eileen. And Fairytale.

Why? Because after that initial contact, she followed-up (there is a message here beyond this story...follow-up pays!).

She sent me post card mailings reminding me of Fairytale. And all the times and ways and reasons I should order.

And...I did!

With flavors such as Walnut, Chocolate Chip, Raspberry Swirl, Pecan, Toffee Crunch, Espresso, Mint Chip, Peanut Butter Cup - plus "Original" - - it's easy to understand what happens to your taste buds...they go mad just thinking about it all.

Eileen is a graduate of the University of Southern California. With degrees in business and Spanish. Her partner and long time friend, David Kravetz, with a mechanical engineering degree from Stanford, grew up on brownies.

Mom was the owner of the "secret family recipe". As kids both David and Eileen enjoyed Mom's brownies. For years there was talk about going into business - selling brownies. Fresh out of school, both went into corporate America. To earn a living. Eileen for a television station, selling air time. David at Proctor & Gamble. It wasn't long before the two got serious about selling brownies. Soon evenings were spent cooking. They talked a friend with a catering business into allowing them to use the facilities at night. This gave them time to grow slowly, to learn the business from the inside out. Literally growing themselves as the business grew.

By December, 1993, the business was beginning to take off. Both Eileen and David quit their "day" jobs, and Fairytale Brownies became a full time effort.

They borrowed from the bank, invested personal savings, and made the quantum leap. Combining the need for the right equipment with using only the best product ingredients for flavor and quality, costs money. Lots of it.

Even though Eileen had concentrated on entrepreneurship classes while in school, having read and written business plans, the real world turned out a little different. Yet, for a couple of "kids" under 30, they have a real company. And are doing well.

The obvious time of the year when a package from Fairytale Brownies would be in vogue is holiday season. Any holiday! Valentine's Day. Mother's Day. Father's Day. Birthdays. Easter. Secretaries Day. And any special event - home or business.

Marketing for Eileen is extensive. There are lots of ways to bring a product to market...she tries them all. For instance, a "sample" booth at a Spring Festival of the Arts, a Culinary Festival, a city fair titled "Sunday on Central".

Once in a while she strays into something truly "unusual". And results are not always fabulous. For example, an insert in the Ballet Arizona program guide. Which did not get a good response. Guess those who dance - and enjoy dance - are more figure conscious.

The brownies are also distributed retail. Some of the finest stores in the Phoenix / Scottsdale, Arizona USA area sell Fairytale Brownies. The rest of America is waiting. Specialty stores and select catalogs are just a couple of the marketing avenues being tested.

Corporate gift sales are another large portion of brownie sales. Baked from scratch with fresh eggs, real butter,

Soft-as-silk flour, pure Belgian chocolate - with customized one or two color printing on special delivery boxes, is all a part of the Fairytale offer. Today delivery is anywhere in the States...tomorrow - who knows?

Packaging is part of marketing. And color, too. Simple one and two color post card and self-mailers, with black / white photography, works well for Fairytale Brownies. For Valentine's a bright pink paper stock is used. A yellow card with a dark purple or maroon type has been a good response combination. Effective year-round, with most any offer.

Fairytale stationary is tan, with that same dark purple printing. Eileen signs her name in a flowing purple ink...and sends me her package in a dark purple envelope. Color is also "in". A four-color piece, which combines an order form and pushes gift box assortments, "keepsake" boxes and even Fairytale Brownies logo items is a consistent winner. Eileen reports each mailing brings in new business from new customers...and gets old customers to re-order. She mails her color piece over and over (there is another message here - repeat contact with customers and prospects brings repeat business!).

Read with me some of the copy from this full color piece:

"In the wee hours of night, The Fairytale Brownie
gleams with delight. With his magic spoon in hand, He
creates the greatest brownies in all of Fairyland".

These words prompted me to ask Eileen why the name "Fairytale Brownies". Here's what she told me.

The name Fairytale came because David & Eileen wanted a fun name. And one to be remembered.

First was "My Mom's Brownies". They began noticing Mom's Diners and similar...and decided it not the thing. So, they looked up "Brownie" in the dictionary.

What they found is that Brownies (sometimes called Elfs) do good things for others. They bring happiness / they bring delight / they do happy things for "You". And...you don't have to ask - the Brownies just do "it". Because they like to. And they like the mystery and surprise of doing good things for good people - things unexpected. All of which sounds very much like a fairy tale to me!

(Eileen says they also liked the Fairytale Brownie name idea, because, if they worked it right, Brownies would come at night and cook the brownies needed for the next days orders! Unfortunately, Eileen reports, this has not yet happened.)

Irish folklore has many stories about Brownies. In history Brownies would come to farms and help clean. Get things in order. Doing things that needed to be done.

Tradition also says if you want to say "thank-you" to Brownies for doing good things for you, you cannot be obvious in your expression. You can't leave milk and cookies on the kitchen counter - you can put them in the fridge. A surprise gift. Just as Fairytale Brownies are many times a "surprise gift".

As this is being written - Eileen's dad is touring Ireland looking for "Brownies" - and Brownie stories. For new ways to promote. There is obviously more to come from Fairytale Brownies.

Visit or write Eileen and David at Fairytale Brownies, http://www.brownies.com/ Fairytale Brownies Bakery®
4610 E. Cotton Center Boulevard Suite 100, Phoenix, AZ 85040-8898

Do it. Who knows - you may have a "Brownie" surprise.

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About Ray Jutkins, October 3rd, 1936 — January 6th, 2005. Ray was one of the NMOA’s most generous contributors. Over the years Ray supplied the NMOA with hundreds of tips and articles for members. This is just one of many. Ray worked with B-2-B and Consumer clients throughout the world ... including USA, Canada, Mexico, Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the Middle-East, Central & South America, Africa. Keep an eye out for more of Ray’s marketing tips and how-to articles in the pages of Direct Marketing Digest and the article archive on the NMOA website.

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