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If Sheila G. hadn’t lost her job in her early 40s, she would have never have founded a $40 million bakery business, and we would have never have tasted her fabulous Brownie Brittle! If you haven’t tried these crunchy chocolate bits in a bag yet, you are sorely missing out on one of the most innovative treats to hit grocery aisles in a long, long time. On this week’s episode of Glambition Radio, you’ll hear how Sheila took an old family recipe door-to-door, landed Disney as her biggest client, and got Brownie Brittle onto the red carpet of Hollywood.
Sheila put in 20 years as a corporate accountant and worked her way up to Executive Vice-President, so it devastated her when she was laid off. She got into bed, pulled the covers over her head and spent the weekend crying. On Monday, while in line at the unemployment office, she decided to reinvent herself. She loved to bake and for years her fudge brownies were in such high demand by friends and co-workers that she joked, she’d ‘someday quit her job and make them for a living’. Although her mother and two kids thought she was crazy to go for it, Sheila gave herself three months to make money selling her homemade brownies.
By clicking the play button at the top of this page, you can hear how Sheila turned an old family recipe into a multi-million dollar business.
Sheila’s brownie business plan was to focus on gifting and B2B rather than compete in the overly saturated retail market. This was the early 90s – before the Internet and websites – so she got an 800 number (1-800-Brownie) and networked at local events and chamber of commerce meetings. Within two years, word of mouth (figuratively and literally!) made Sheila G’s Brownies very popular.
By the mid-90s it was all about fat-free, and when one of Sheila’s super tasty fat-free brownies landed on the desk of a Disney executive, she got her big break. Her business moved from a 1200 square foot space to full-scale factory with hundreds of employees baking her homemade fudge brownies to sell at Disneyland.
No matter how much her business grew, Sheila was always hands-on in the bakery. She would walk by the brownies cooling on the racks and nibble on the crispy batter left on the pans, and wonder how she could make a whole batch of the yummy brownie edges. Today Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle is a big hit in supermarkets and appears regularly on red carpets and in gift bags for the Oscars and Golden Globes.
On this episode of Glambition Radio, Sheila and I discuss pros and cons of a Plan B, and why it’s not always good to play nice. And we bond over the guilty pleasure of watching bad Lifetime movies! I know you’ll get a lot out of this episode – listen now by clicking the play button below. And if you want to hear my most recent episodes head over to iTunes to listen or subscribe for automatic updates.
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Love and Success,
P.S. I would love your review! If you enjoy what I share in this episode, please leave a review and comment on iTunes. I would really appreciate it. Thanks!