Few relationships in life are as strong as those formed with family. The same can be true in the business world as family members collaborate to make their dreams a reality. Specialty food pioneer Elegant Brie was founded on the strength of family, bringing its award-winning brie-en-croute to the market. I linked up with the sister duo Linda Olander, CEO, and Leslie Bowers, COO, to find out more about this burgeoning family business.
“We have been in business for 11 years,” the pair explained. “We started the company when Leslie transitioned out of her corporate position as a Vice President of Human Resources. This was an opportunity for both of us to collaborate and combine our talents and interests outside of corporate America and test out our entrepreneurial sides.”
Through Elegant Brie, Linda and Leslie offer exceptional entertaining products that are both convenient and delicious. Creating memorable entertaining experiences for their consumers, the company’s signature product line is its brie-en-croute. The line includes three flavors at retail: garlic, basil & pine nut; cranberry, pecan & brown sugar; and mushroom, garlic & scallion.
“‘Entertain like you mean it!’ is our mantra,” Linda and Leslie told me. “Everyone is so busy and wants to have go-to items that serve as showpieces yet are easy to bake. People want unique gift items that can be mailed and are outside of the norm. Who wouldn’t want a brie-en-croute as a gift?”
For Linda and Leslie, commitment means quality. Elegant Brie places quality above all else, ensuring that consumers are wowed each time they open the package. The company’s products are all handmade, using high quality, high-expense ingredients.
“Most shoppers immediately realize it's a gourmet item perfect for the holidays. We are working to convince people that our signature product, the brie-en-croute, is something people want to eat all year long,” they said. “It bakes beautifully on the barbecue and it's a great Friday night weekend treat with a glass of wine. We often say, ‘You should not have to wait for a holiday to enjoy brie!’”
Elegant Brie’s second most popular product is twice-baked potatoes in addition to an innovative puff pastry pizza. The company’s products can currently be found in Harry and David and Williams Sonoma stores or can be purchased online at the Elegant Brie website. When asked what’s on the horizon for Elegant Brie, Linda and Leslie let me know they are seeking to be featured on home shopping networks again, and they plan to use Facebook to introduce entertaining ideas to complement the company’s products.
“We are ethical, proud, creative, and very hard-working people,” they concluded. “We truly care about our products and love to entertain. One of our favorite messages to consumers is ‘The best things that come out of our kitchen can come out of yours, too!’”
As more specialty food up-and-comers cross our radar, Deli Market News will continue bringing you our reports.