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".
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
4610 E. Cotton Center Boulevard Suite 100, Phoenix, AZ 85040-8898
Do it. Who knows - you may have a "Brownie" surprise.
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
Digest and the article archive on the NMOA website.