It’s a dessert-lover’s paradise—brownies, cookies and bars in numerous flavors and sizes to more than satisfy your sweet cravings.
Since establishing Fairytale Brownies in 1992, Co-Founders Eileen Spitalny and David Kravetz have created a magical wonderland and take people on a delicious journey through their desserts. They have created almost seven million pieces including brownies, snack-size Fairytale Sprites and bite-size Magic Morsels in 2018 so far at their Bakery in Phoenix.
Using premium ingredients such as imported Callebaut Belgian chocolate, farm-fresh eggs, real creamery butter, fluffy cake flour and no trans fat, artificial colors or preservatives, Fairytale has a wide array of treats in assorted flavors for every palate. Customers can try their newest brownie flavor cinnamon cocoa, along with classics like cream cheese, chocolate chip and walnut, and various cookies and bars.
We recently had the treat of going on a tour of Fairytale Brownies’ 37,000 sq. ft. location in Phoenix, and saw first-hand the dedication and enthusiasm it takes to create their high-quality, delicious desserts. Their storefront showcases many brownies, cookies and bars organized meticulously by flavor available for purchase, and customers have a view of their bakery space through a large glass pane.
All treats are created from scratch in-house—from baking, wrapping, packaging and shipping. Customers can also mix and match their favorites−all customizable by treat type, sugar-free or nut-free, and packaging preferences including decorations.
Each piece goes through an efficient process before being ready to display or package for customers’ enjoyment: after the brownies are finished baking, they are frozen to cool down, and the next day are cut into three-inch squares. Afterward, each piece is transported via a conveyor belt to be individually wrapped, sealed, and sorted, then go to their destination accompanied by other treats.
Forty full-time and about 140 seasonal employees keep Fairytale Brownies baking about 6,000 pieces a week and almost three million pieces a year in their off season in 2018. In what they consider their seasonal time of year—Labor Day through Christmas—they have made 4.2 million brownies so far in 2018.
We sat down with Fairytale Brownies Co-Founder Eileen Spitalny to chat about the adventure so far, what’s next for Fairytale, and if their logo will have a name to call his own.
AZ Big Media: Since you opened in 1992, how does it feel to see the recognition and success Fairytale Brownies has had over the past 26 years?
Eileen Spitalny: This definitely was our goal to make it a healthy, exciting place to be, but we had no idea we were starting a manufacturing company, so that was probably one of the biggest surprises for us, and seasonality was a really big surprise for us.
But as far as the adventure, we’ve always really tried to be thinking ahead and have good processes in place. We’ve always had advisors telling us to think big even when we’re small, which was helpful because in the beginning we just went to street fairs and farmer’s markets, and then people were like, ‘I’m from New York, can I get some of these?’ and so we looked into mail order, and we could ship directly.
We started in a friend’s catering business, then we were in 1,000 sq. ft.; then 2,000 sq. ft.; and then 10,000 sq. ft., and now we’re in this building which is 37,000 sq. ft. So we’ve been in business since ’92 and we’ve been online selling brownies since ’95. So some say we’re one of the first companies selling food online.
ABM: How do full-time and seasonal employees create quality treats and positively represent Fairytale through customer interaction?
ES: It has been an adventure to become this mail order company that ships worldwide, some of our employees have been with us for many years; some 24 and 14 years, so it’s a good place to work, I feel like there’s good camaraderie, the brownie love is there. Some seasonal workers come back year after year, this is their 10th season. We really believe in everybody helping each other out.
Right now we have seasonal people in our call center and I tell them: ‘You’re going to hear some stressed out people around the holidays, especially if there’s snowstorms or they’re late…but at the end of the day it’s just brownies, and we’ll end up making them happy.
And we try to under promise and over deliver, we have a $100 empowerment policy, so if somebody calls and the brownies are late, we just ship another one for free. We just try to make everybody happy, simplify gift-giving and spread joy is really our motto here.
ABM: What do you hope for the future of Fairytale Brownies?
ES: We want to meet more people, because even though we make that many brownies, there are so many people who haven’t heard of us. I’d love for more people to know about Fairytale Brownies and know what we can do because I think in the mail order food world, what we do with customization and printing none of our competitors do and if they do, the quality is different. All our packaging is custom designed, so there’s no stock packaging…so spreading the word about the quality of our packaging to our product to our service. I always tell people I love making brownie friends…because I’m always carrying brownies with me, I want to give them to everybody.
ABM: Can you tell me about the story behind your logo?
ES: We had all these dreams, we wanted to be the Ben and Jerry’s of brownies, and hopefully someday people will recognize our logo like they do Mickey Mouse. He’s the little elf that performs good deeds at night, and he comes in and bakes and cleans the kitchen and it’s all ready for us to ship in the morning.
We call him the fairytale brownie or the brownie guy, poor thing, he’s never had a name! We almost started calling him Chip last year but it didn’t work out. When we first started the company, we had a little legend about him: “In the wee hours of night, the fairytale brownie gleams into the light with his magic spoon in hand, he creates the greatest brownies in all of fairyland.”