finding small ways to brighten up these days + good news

January 15, 2009 |  Category:   life the biz

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From your comments and emails, sounds like there are quite a few of us suffering from January doldrums. To get through this miserably cold weather, I’m trying to think of little ways to brighten up the long winter days. Like eating oranges. This is the season to buy clementines in a bag or box. It’s surprising how many little clementines you can go through in one sitting, but they are like little bursts of sunshine that remind you of warmer days even though they are technically a winter fruit.

Or getting hugs from little people. I don’t know what it is, but kids give hugs with as much warmth and presence as a bigger person 2 or 3 times their size. Plus I love when they hug you and simultaneously pat your back with their tiny hands.

And of course, any bit of good news helps. Last week Dean & Deluca called us and requested some samples. So we gave them some. Today they said yes. Our shortbreads and chocolate gingersnaps will be on the shelves in both Manhattan stores by Valentine’s Day. Yay (though if you saw Mark’s reaction you wouldn’t be able to tell that we are actually happy about this – he’s feeling the pressure and haven’t had a free moment since our Christmas break). But let me rewind and tell you a little story. When we were conceiving of the idea of the business back in March last year, Mark’s sister and I went into Dean & Deluca to do some market research and see what was on the shelves. We actually did talk to an employee (for a long time as I recall), and I vaguely mentioned that we were starting a company somewhere in our conversation. I got the card of the baked goods buyer which I tucked into my planner and to this day remains. We thought that we might eventually approach Dean and Deluca someday. We just didn’t think that it would happen this way.

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  • Annie From Seattle January 15, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    Oh happiness! PS I swear…these photographs take my breath away. They are literally glowing off my screen.

  • ninja January 15, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    I love your pictures – one can instantly smell the fragrant oils, a favorite smell of my childhood (together with fresh cut grass). Have you ever tried to squeeze clementine peel near an open candle? Those little oil eruptions flash up when they hit the flame … not in a fire hazardous-, but magical way. I did it as a kid all the time during candle-lit family coffee hours in winter.

    And of course: congrats on the D&D deal. That’s just the type of business that’s perfect for a steady base income. Once you have references like them, it should be easy to approach even more distributors. Think nationwide!

  • jennifer January 16, 2009 at 7:23 am

    Looks like all that hard work paid off – congratulations!!

  • jennifer January 16, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Wahoo! No rest for you two!

  • unha January 16, 2009 at 9:54 am

    woot woot
    xoxo

  • Samantha Hirst January 16, 2009 at 10:46 am

    fantastic news! you just can’t keep something so wonderful quiet 🙂

  • cyndi January 16, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Congratulations!

  • Lani January 16, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    That’s amazing! Dean and Deluca….wow! And how it happened….just goes to show that this was all meant to be. I’m happy for you!

  • patricia January 16, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    That’s wonderful news! Congratulations!

  • Stella January 16, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Congrats on Dean & Deluca. Celebrate your accomplishment fully. Then you can get crackin’ on the baking and getting their order ready! 🙂

  • Lara January 16, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Wow. Nicely done!

  • Jennifer January 16, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    This is great news!!! Dean and Deluca are smart, your cookies are amazing!

  • susan January 16, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Congratulations! I first saw your sweets on etsy then found my way to your site. It is wonderful to be paid for doing something that you love, even under pressure.

  • Alicia January 16, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Yaaay! And congrats! I don’t live too far from D&D, and I was just thinking to myself the other day, gee, if only I lived in Brooklyn, near, oh.. Provisions, I could always get Whimsy & Spice cookies when I run out. I am really glad, but I don’t think my thighs are… 😉

    Once you get the business to a steady pace, where maybe you have a few helpers under your belt and can afford to step away at times, you two should do seminars and talks. I was just thinking to myself, Dean and Deluca, wow. I really wish I could start a business and as quickly as they have be stocked at some very popular stores, and with all the attention you’ve gotten from Martha, DailyCandy, etc, and it hasn’t even been a year yet, wow. Most importantly, that you have really unique products that are so expertly packaged and marketed. So… yeah. I’m just really inspired every time I read your blog. Thanks Jenna and Mark!

  • paige January 16, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    Fabulous! Congrats to you guys!

  • Adrienne January 17, 2009 at 7:28 am

    Congrats on the great news! I have a question, what camera do you have and use for all these awesome blog pictures?

  • Joni January 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    incredible news! Dean and Deluca have locations all around the world, including the Napa Valley. Have you two ever been out there? There is a great Dean and Deluca there – the only one on the West Coast – and it caters to affluent tourist types. It’s great exposure for you.

  • Jenna January 18, 2009 at 12:48 am

    Adrienne, I use a canon G7 powershot. It’s a great camera and a good compromise to carrying around a bulky digital slr (which I don’t have).
    Alicia, hmm…seminars. That would be sort of funny as I don’t see ourselves as seminar teaching people. I don’t know we would say! And we should also be thanking you for all your whimsy purchases over the past year!

  • Alicia January 19, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Well, one thing you could do is offer a consulting service for people who are looking to start up baking businesses, or even just small Internet-based businesses (like on Etsy, etc) in general. That’s more one-on-one!

    Good news for me, we’re leaving Manhattan for Brooklyn, this summer. So if you do ever need some help in the kitchen or elsewhere, give me a shout, you know this economy is not a happy one for soon-to-be college grads! =( ha ha.

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