By: Cicily Perschon
“We aim to WOW!” says Tami Mowen, owner and operator at Ruby Snap bakery. And they do. Mowen has a positive attitude and exciting personality that is part of what makes the company is so fun.
Ruby Snap is a bakery located on 770 South 300 West makes cookies with a 1940s theme, and each type of cookie has a woman’s name from that time period – Margo, Penelope, Suzie. The store resembles a boutique like shop, decorated like an airplane hangar with cement floors, and airplane nose décor. Nose décor in the 1940’s had many paintings of pin-up women. Ruby Snap was initially referred to as My Dough Girl for the female flyers who flew during the 1940s.
The goal of creating Ruby Snap was not to get rich Mowen explained, but to “get creativity out of my head into the public.” It is more of a “grown up hobby.” she said. Ruby Snap has successfully managed to establish its brand debt free. Tami cashed out a $10K IRA to start Ruby Snap. However advertising is difficult because most if not all the profits go back to capital equipment growth. Staying debt free takes time so they had to stay patient.
“Social media has been huge for us,” says Mowen. For a small business every post counts. Ruby Snap relies on the word of mouth: for the first 7 years of business there was no paid print advertising. Community involvement and donations are a way to promote. They also go to local farmers markets to spread the love of Ruby Snap. Many samples are given there, as well as in stores; they believe that giving samples gives you a guaranteed customer.
Ruby Snap has turned away Costco, QVC, Sprouts and Walmart as retailers for its cookies. Why? Mowen says to stay special and unique. She believes that she needs to trust her gut and so she has. Ruby Snap took 18 months to agree to Harmons and now they sell their freezer dough at Harmons neighborhood grocer. Tami says, “They are good mentors and provide a win/win scenario.”
Harmons has helped the bakery broaden their target audience because the take and bake option is more affordable. Typically their audience is the working professional that seeks quality over quantity.
Ruby Snap is working on becoming involved with many other high-end grocers nationwide such as Brolim’s in Idaho and Ajay’s in Arizona. However, they want their cookies to remain different and exciting.
Many people are dying to work with Ruby Snap. “Walt Disney World Florida loves our Lilly lemonhead cookie,” says owner Tami. They worked with Disney to find ways to make the frozen dough stay good during the journey to Florida. Ruby Snap then created the Lola cookie, which is a more sustainable lemon flavored cookie and can now be sold in Harmons as well as Walt Disney World.
To stay unique Mowen strived to make cookies with all fresh ingredients. She wanted Ruby Snap to be free of preservatives and different from your average cookie. Mowen then used fresh strawberries and peaches.
Hand crafted perfection is still a priority for Ruby Snap they make around 507 dozen cookies a day, which makes the hand processes very exhausting. The small company is striving to find a machine that will help create the magic. However they have discovered a Japanese machine that can accommodate to the way they make their special dough. This machine will create 507 dozen an hour verses a day. This machine is $100,000 so it is being saved for.
Ruby Snap has only been in business for 8 years. They are continuing to grow. Mowen has 9 children and loves family she puts her family first and wants her employees to do the same. Ruby Snap currently has 17 employees.
Tami is not all cookies she loves Bikram yoga, spoonfuls of peanut butter, modern furniture and boots. Mowen claims, “My only regret is not being a natural born graphic designer.”
Although Mowen is living the dream now and enjoying the joys of her creation it has not always been so easy. When Tami first started, Ruby Snap was known as My Dough Girls. Pillsbury believed it was too similar to their mascot the Doughboy. The new company chose to surrender and give up their name, then creating a new brand and calling it Ruby Snap maintaining the same1940s theme. Mowen believed that if she would have fought Pillsbury it would have not only taken a toll on her finances but also her family and progress. She wanted to make her dream reality “Being right doesn’t win the fight, succeeding and preserving wins the fight,” she says.
Ruby Snap has five core values: Genuine, Fresh, Destination, WOW and DIY. They are constantly striving for the “Disneyland experience.” Try the Penelope a peanut butter truffle dipped in chocolate perfection and it will defiantly be magical.