A Seat at the Community Table

Two weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend Branchfood’s August edition of their Community Table in Boston. The Community Table concept was created by Food Sol, an “action tank for food entrepreneurs” at Babson College;  their aim is to connect members of the food industry and to create an environment where everybody can gather to share their experiences and exchange advice with others.

Branchfood holds their Community Table monthly, and I loved the round-table discussion that allowed me to meet and communicate with over 10 different representatives from companies from the surrounding area.  Companies who attended included Kensho Kitchen, EventHues, and Cookin. It was very interesting to meet members of the industry who had experience in product development, food apps, and event management. Everyone who attended had great advice, and because the discussion focused on social media marketing techniques, everything aligned perfectly with what I have been working on and learning this summer during my internship.

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The Community Table was also a fantastic opportunity to market our cookies to a new group of people. At the end of the event I was able to talk to many of these representatives individually, while also passing out samples of our Crunch Cookies. Everybody loved them! They loved how tasty they were, and were also amazed at the clean and healthy ingredients. It was also great to hear positive reviews from those who had already tried our cookies, and wanted to tell me how much they loved them! Overall, attending the Community Table event was a great way to close out my summer experience as a marketing intern for Fancypants Baking Co.

Cheers!

Megan M.

Fancypants Intern: A Day in the Life

Last Wednesday I had the opportunity to meet with Branchfood in Boston, and I wanted to give you an inside look at what it takes to be a social media-marketing intern!

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7:00 – I board the bus to Boston with my mom, but before we left I drafted tweets for the day. I recently started running the twitter page for Fancypants Baking, and scheduling the full set of tweets in the morning has been very helpful! There are many apps, such as everypost, which allow me to fully draft and schedule the tweets before my day gets really hectic!

8:30 – I got to Boston early, and decided to find a Starbucks to continue working before the meeting. I spent the next hour responding to tweets, compiling pictures, and researching other twitter accounts.

9:30 – It was time for the meeting, and I headed to the office. For the next hour I spoke with Lauren about how Fancypants Baking could improve their presence on social media. Her suggestions included unifying all social platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, and also prioritizing engagement with active followers.

11:00 – Lauren gave me a tour of the Branchfood office space, and I loved seeing our product displayed for everyone to see! It was great to see that Branchfood operated in an open and welcoming area, which fostered a friendly and welcoming work environment. It was a beautiful office space!

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1:00 – On my way home from Boston, I continued to focus on the twitter page. It is important to always be active on the account. Even though I have scheduled the tweets to be posted automatically, I always check the page in order to respond to those who have engaged with the tweets!

4:00 – As my day was coming to an end in Boston, I planed to stay active on twitter for the remainder of the night. Whether it is following new accounts, favoriting other tweets, or drafting posts for the following day, there is always something to do to increase Fancypants Baking Co’s presence on twitter!

Being a social media-marketing intern has been a great learning experience, and I have gained amazing hands on knowledge throughout the summer. I now know what it takes to stay engaged with consumers online, and have a deeper appreciation for the work that goes behind social media campaigns. After the experience this summer, I am even more excited to continue working in the marketing field in the future!

Don’t forget to follow us on all of our social media sites!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FancypantsBaking

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fancypantsbaker

SnapChat: https://www.snapchat.com/add/fancypantsbaker

Twitter: https://twitter.com/fancypantsbaker

Cheers!

Megan

Brand Ambassador

 

No-bake Crunch Cheesecake Bites

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As an avid cheesecake lover, I am always looking for new ways to make my favorite dessert, and these no-bake Crunch cookie cheesecake bites are a great quick treat! I found this amazing recipe on the blog iwashyoudry.com, and adapted it to use my favorite flavors of our Crunch cookies as the crust.

My first step was to collect all the needed ingredients. Luckily, these cheesecake ingredients where all found in my fridge, making this recipe even easier!

The ingredients include:

 

  • 1 ½ cups of your favorite Crunch cookies (crushed). I chose Vanilla Bean and Double Chocolate Chip, and used ¾ a cup of each.
  • 8 oz of cream cheese
  • 4 oz vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup melted butter, 1/8 cup per flavor
  • ¼ cup sugar, 1/8 cup per flavor
  • Your favorite cheesecake toppings. I used fresh raspberries and chocolate chips.

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Next, I combined the butter, sugar, and crushed Crunch cookies in a small bowl. Then I pressed the mixture into muffin tins.  I preheated the oven to 350 degrees band baked the crusts for 5 minutes. Freezing the crusts also works, making these cheesecakes 100 percent no-bake, and perfect for these hot summer days.

Now it was time to make the cheesecake filling.  I whipped the 8 oz of cream cheese until it became light and creamy. Then I added the vanilla pudding mixture, and mixed until fully combined. The next time I make these cheesecakes, I am going to experiment with different flavors of pudding mix, such as chocolate. Finally, I slowly added in the cold milk, mixing until smooth. I then poured the mixture into the muffin tins.

The last step is to place the cheesecakes in the fridge until they firm. This took about 10 minutes, but because of the humidity, I placed mine in the freezer after 10 minutes to ensure the filling held in place when I removed the muffin tins. They came out perfectly! I chose to top the Vanilla Bean Crunch Cookie cheesecake with fresh raspberries, and added whipped cream and chocolate chips for the topping of the Double Chocolate Chip Crunch Cookie cheesecake.

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These bite-size cheesecakes are addicting, and I will definitely be experimenting with this recipe many times!  Check out the original recipe here! http://www.iwashyoudry.com/2014/04/25/quick-cherry-no-bake-cheesecakes/

 

Happy snacking!

 

Megan McNamara

 

Brand Ambassador

 

 

 

The Power of the People

Word-of-mouth marketing can be extremely beneficial for small companies. For Fancypants Baking Co., much of our success can be attributed to positive reviews from our loyal customers. Whole Foods Market and their employees have done a fantastic job spreading positive reviews about our cookies, and we were recently able to meet some of these employees and make personal connections with many of them at the Whole Foods All Access Event in Woburn, MA.

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During the 2016 Whole Foods All Access Event, suppliers in all departments of the market provide samples of their products to the hard working employees. During my two days at the event, I met countless friendly people from all areas of Whole Foods. It was great to hear all of the amazing things that everyone had to say about our cookies. Cashiers continuously told me how often they recommend our product to customers, while bakers and grocers explained that they loved seeing our cookies in their stores. It was great being able to see first hand how much of an influence the opinions of Whole Foods employees can have on the success of our product in their stores. I learned that by making sure that we provide a great product and experience to the employees, we benefit from their positive recommendations to customers, friends and family, too.

I was extremely impressed by the All Access Event. As a recently hired brand ambassador for Fancypants, this was a side of Whole Foods that I was not familiar with. All of the suppliers I met were great, and I loved having the opportunity to try their products, and more importantly, have them sample our cookies. Word-of-mouth marketing will increase even more due to the relationships we made with these new companies. I loved being a part of this event, and by building these relationships with employees, customers, and fellow suppliers, I know even more people will enjoy our cookies!

Cheers!

Megan McNamara, Brand Ambassador

Guest blog

Hello! We are excited to welcome Allie Bahn to our blog today. Allie is a nationally recognized Food Allergy Writer & Lifestyle Coach.  She is sought after to speak at national and local food allergy conferences and events, and she is a contributor to leading publications including the New York Times.  Read what she thinks about Fancypants and be sure to check out her blog at http://www.missallergicreactor.com.

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting one of the owners of Fancypants Baking Co., Maura Duggan. Being from the Boston area, I love to meet the allergy-friendly businesses in town that I already support and enjoy often!

The day that Fancypants entered my life as a new favorite, I had just returned from living abroad in Italy and was on one of my endless adventures in the grocery store. I wasn’t used to having so many choices. It could easily take over an hour before I would emerge with my arms full of new safe foods to try along with groceries for the week.

This particularly special day, I was in a Whole Foods in Boston and saw these adorably decorated cookies. I couldn’t recall ever seeing a safe decorated cookie besides what my nana, mom, or aunt would bake for me as a child. With multiple food allergies including all tree nuts and peanuts, packaged baked sweets are often off limits. However, I noticed these and decided to look at the ingredients.  I was shocked to see that they were peanut and tree nut free (and made at a dedicated nut free facility, no less). So there I stood, trying to decide which Fancypants fall themed cookie shape I should buy.  I chose a pumpkin!

Since this initial encounter a few years ago, I have enjoyed decorated Fancypants cookies in the shapes of snowmen, butterflies and ladybugs just to name a few!  I know I probably sound like a child, but as an “allergy kid” adult who never grew up with any safe options like this, I’ve decided that it’s okay to enjoy a decorated cookie on occasion!

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Fancypants also has bags of cookies in four delicious flavors; Vanilla Bean, Double Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, and Brown Sugar (along with boxes of fun seasonal flavors). I like them all, but my favorite is the Double Chocolate. How can you go wrong with chocolate on chocolate?!  They’re delicious, and it’s easy to eat a bag without hesitation!  They have a good crunch to them and are the perfect size for snacking.

The company recently changed to new packaging, but the cookies remain the same amazing quality. I have a huge sweet tooth and although I love eating healthy food-food, sometimes I need something sweet!  You know what I mean? In Italy nothing has more than five or so ingredients and everything is fresh. I always have that in the back of my mind when buying anything packaged.

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Fancypants ingredients are non-GMO with no artificial flavorings.  I love that they are dedicated peanut and tree nut free, so I don’t have to worry about cross contact.  They have a great little video [http://www.fancypantsbakery.com/Articles.asp?ID=136] on their website about the beginnings of the company and the cookie making process. I definitely recommend visiting their site [http://www.fancypantsbakery.com/category-s/139.htm] and keeping your eyes open for this yummy brand!

Allie, Miss Allergic Reactor

 

Crunch Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

When the weather starts getting warmer and students get out of school, everyone is looking for an easy summer snack to enjoy. A long-time favorite for families is ice cream sandwiches, which can be made with our amazing Crunch cookies for a fast and delicious treat!

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When I chose to make my Crunch ice cream sandwich I decided to use ice cream from my favorite local ice cream shop. Any ice cream works perfectly for this snack, but I love all of the flavor choices that Johnson’s Farm had to offer. Johnson’s Farm is a family-owned stand in Windham, New Hampshire that is a popular location for the whole town. I decided to order “Moose Tracks” ice cream which paired really well with our s’mores Crunch cookies.

I placed a small scoop of ice cream onto one cookie, and then placed another cookie on top. Then I pressed the two cookies together to make the sandwich easier to eat. It. Was. Delicious.  To be honest, any ice cream sandwich combo is delicious, and the combinations are endless with all of our different flavors of Crunch cookies!  Did you know we have 15 DIFFERENT flavors to choose from?   Let us know your favorite!!

SmoresLabelCheers to a great summer weekend!

Megan

Brand Ambassador

Food Allergy and the “Free From” Movement

Since 2004, Fancypants Baking Co. has been making cookies that are peanut and tree nut free.  What that means is that our facility and all of our cookies are “free from” some of the most common food allergens that affect people today – nuts.  In the United States, as many as 15 million people have food allergies and many more have sensitivities or diet preferences for foods that are free from specific ingredients.   As a result of this growing food trend, there is a new food movement called the “Free From” movement.

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By definition, the “Free From” movement refers to foods that are made without any of the following allergens: gluten, milk, eggs, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soy. Some people also include sesame and sunflower seeds/oil as a growing number of people also have allergies to these foods.

There are many different results stemming from this movement. First, there is more talk in pop culture about food allergies. For example, this morning on the Today Show, Al Roker discussed allergies and what is being done to end them.  And, celebrity Sarah Jessica Parker recently spoke up about her family and food allergies.  Second, there is an explosion of products being offered by food manufacturers that are “free from” certain allergens.  Entire sections of supermarkets are dedicated to “gluten free” products, for example.  Third, education and advocacy by food allergy groups like FARE  (Food Allergy Research & Education) are gaining more attention.  During the month of May, FARE organized a nationwide campaign where major city landmarks including the Empire State Building (NYC) and the Zakim Bridge (Boston) turned their lights teal as a way to bring awareness to food allergies.

The great news about all of this is that there are more choices for people who have allergies, and more awareness about the impact that allergies have on individuals and families.  At Fancypants, we’re proud that we’ve been baking cookies for nearly 12 years that are free from all nuts and that are 100% safe for people with nut allergies to enjoy and we’re excited that the Free From movement is impacting consumers and companies in a positive and meaningful way.

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Cheers!

Megan, Brand Ambassador

 

Fancypants Baking Co. Nominated for Prestigious Innovation Award

The Smaller Business Association of New England recently named Fancypants Baking Co. to its New England Innovation Award program. Because of the reputation Fancypants has earned in the marketplace, the quality of its products and its innovative processes, they have qualified for consideration as a nominee for the SBANE award.

Innovation is at the heart of economic prosperity and the Smaller Business Association of New England continues to recognize companies that have transformed their innovative ideas into products or services that deliver a unique and proven value to customers. SBANE reports that leadership in this area is vital to continue the growth of small business. The business community recognizes that businesses that prosper are likely to contribute towards adding new jobs and become an important element in the whole economic cycle. The tradition of nominating companies for this award has been the cornerstone of SBANE for over 25 years. The organization is proud to note the competitive process has developed a spirit of entrepreneurship that makes nominees strive for excellence in their respective fields.

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At Fancypants Baking Co., this spirit is alive and well. The continual effort to provide the finest quality of non-gmo products to the marketplace has earned them the trust of their customers and the recognition from the business community as a whole. Fancypants Baking Co. joins the ranks of many notable New England businesses who have been nominated in the past and who have become recognized leaders in the highly competitive world of innovation.

Crunch Cookies + Eat Healthy Designs

Cookies + Coffee + adorable Stationery?  Yes, please! This picture is from our friends over at Eat Healthy Designs  EAT is all about spreading the word of good nutrition in a well designed and unconventional way – by bringing a nutritious twist to stationery and apparel. With Elise’s background in nutrition (she’s a registered dietitian) and a good great eye for design, and hubby Travis’s entrepreneurial attitude, EAT was born. Love it. And seriously, I’m a big believer in all three of the items in this pic. I love cookies (obviously);  I need coffee; and I’ve always loved the simple but powerful impact of a beautiful note. EatHealthy2

Elise definitely has an eye for design and I’m excited that my (first) order of stationery just arrived last week. I always have people to thank and it’s so much more fun to pick and choose from adorable notes than to craft my own not-so-artistic ones. 

And, what I’m also excited about is that as an RD (registered dietitian), Elise truly understand the importance of making healthy choices when eating. She reads food labels for a living so she truly knows the impact that every ingredient has on our bodies and health.  Elise posted a summary on her Instagram page of what ingredients healthy treats must include for her to throw them in her grocery cart and I’m super happy that we passed her test.  Here’s the recap:

  • no hydrogenated oils (no trans fats)
  • no artificial flavors or preservatives
  • no fake colors
  • And BONUS: we’re also GMO free and a small business:)

So, there you have it.  When you wonder what a super healthy, fit RD eats when she craves something delicious and a also a little bit sweet, now you know.  It’s a handful of THESE!! 

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Cheers and happy eating!

Maura

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are hiring: Job + Internship Fair

 

We are HIRING!  We are looking for fun, energetic people who LOVE Sales and Marketing to join us. We need passionate foodies to join our growing team. On April 14th join us at @Branchfood (Boston, MA) for a job and intern fair.  If you love healthy, clean eating and have lots of great energy to help us out at Fancypants, we can’t wait to meet you!  Read more here: bit.ly/1peAZlS

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