Sheila Mains is giving away $20 worth of Brownie Brittle--a no-guilt, crispy, chocolate treat! Ten FOFs will win. Enter to win by answering this question in the comments below: Which flavor Brownie Brittle would you most like to try?
When Sheila Mains lost her high-paying corporate job in 1992, she knew that she couldn't go back to work for anyone but herself. "I couldn't work for someone else and give 150 percent, and I couldn't do less than that and feel good, so I thought it was time to do something on my own."
"Everyone loved my brownie recipe," says Sheila, "and for years people kept saying, 'Oh, you should do something with this!'" And so, that year, Sheila took a leap of faith and began making her famous brownies for mass distribution.
Sheila's brownie business became a sweet success. Her brownies were sold in theme parks throughout the U.S., including Florida's most famous family theme park destination (you know which one we are talking about!), high-end hotels and restaurants. Then in 2008, Sheila began seeing a change in her sales. "People weren't eating out, and if they were, they weren't ordering desserts," says Sheila. "They weren't saving money to go to a theme park, they were trying to save their homes. It was time to launch plan B, or as I call it, plan BB, for Brownie Brittle!"
"Brownie Brittle came from one of my favorite times of the day," Sheila explains. "I'd walk to the back of the plant while the brownies were cooling and take the little drippings off the side of the pan--they had an amazing flavor and crunch. I went back to my own kitchen and started experimenting."
In 2009, Sheila officially launched Brownie Brittle, in grocery store bakeries. Over the next two years she tweaked the packaging to result in “something that people would notice right away,” according to Sheila, “and [something that] would also protect the nice, rich chocolate flavor.”
Sheila's big break came at the Fancy Food Show in 2011, where buyers for specialty stores across the country took notice. The orders started pouring in. "Buyers look at Brownie Brittle and think it's great for the holidays and for gifting," Sheila says. "It's also low in calories, one serving is only 120 calories [for the original flavor] and 3 Weight Watchers points." It’s no surprise, Brownie Brittle has gained a culty following among women on the Weight Watchers diet.
Today, Brownie Brittle can be found everywhere from membership warehouse stores like Costco and BJ's to grocery chains like Stop & Shop. Based on the recent success of Brownie Brittle in these stores, Sheila estimates that she'll sell around 6 million dollars worth of Brownie Brittle this year alone. "There were some challenges," Sheila says, "keeping the product crisp, finding the right packaging, and coming up with the right name. But it was a labor of love, I can tell you that."
Enter to win a $20 worth of Brownie Brittle by answering this question in the comments below: Which flavor of Brownie Brittle would you most like to try?
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Ten FOFs will win. (See all our past winners, here.) (See official rules, here.) Contest closes August 23rd, 2012 at midnight E.S.T.