Thursday, December 4, 2008

So how did you come up with Cherrybrook Kitchen?

This is a very common question that I get everywhere I go. The simple and honest answer is that I was desperate for a delicious chocolate cake! I developed adult onset food allergies and could not have any eggs or dairy. This eliminated all those delicious desserts: cakes, cookies, brownies, ice cream, tarts, doughnuts, pies...ect. I would try other "safe" dessert mixes and to be frank I would have rather have a piece of fruit than the dry tastless options that were on the shelves.

I set out in my kitchen with my mixing bowls, measuring cups, baking pans, lots of dish soap and good quality basic ingredients to make a yummy chocolate cake. I must have tried over 100 times to make the perfect chocolate cake my taste buds so fondly remembered from my pre- allergy days. I even ate some of the rejects.

I would be taking spoonsfuls of warm chocolate goo out of the cake pan and my husband would look at me in horror, "What are you doing?" I would just smile a chocolately grin and smack my lips and say "I am having my chocolate cake!" Granted it was a puddle of chocolate with some chocolate lumps in it but hey it tasted good! You have to recognize and enjoy (or eat) every small step to sucesss on your path to your goals. Finally, I was able to make a chocolate cake that came out of the oven looking like a traditional cake. Sara and Caroline (my daughters) sat with me as ate the whole cake toasting to my success with our forks. It was such an awesome achievement. I was now able to make cake for myself and bring it to parties and fully participate in celebratory events.

When I would bring my cake to the parties, everyone would eat mine over the traditional treats on the table. At the same time, my daughter was in preschool and I watched with a sad heart as the children with allergies pulled out their bags of cereal or fruit during celebrations at school. That was a light bulb moment for me! I could help the kids and their parents! I had perfected at least 6 of the classic favorites chocolate chip cookies, yellow cake, chocolate frosting, vanilla frosting, sugar cookies and chocolate cake. Now how could I get it to these families?

Through brainstorming I came up with the idea for mixes. Great! Fantastic! Now I had the recipes and the I knew how I wanted to package them but I had no experience in the food industry whatsoever!

I literally packed up my cakes and cookies in Tupperware containers and brought them to business centers, manufacturers, grocery stores and advisors looking for any information to help me start this company. I will say most people were extremely kind and helpful. I did notice that the people who did not want to help would still eat my cake and asked to keep any leftovers! One of them even took my cake with the cake container and never returned it!

Next blog I will let you in on how I learned how to take a recipe for 1 cake and turn it into a recipe for ten thousand and how we made our first Cherrybrook Kitchen samples /packaging by hand! I will also post a simple recipe for a quick chocolate treat!

Have a great day and remeber no dream is to big!


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