In a recent interview with Christine Ruffing, owner of Sweet Expectations, a small family-owned cookie company in New Castle, Pa., she talked about how the holidays affect her business. Ruffing founded Sweet Expectations in 2008.
What do you expect from these holidays seasonal sales?
This year we have added the addition of candy to our cookie line.
What will make this season different from last year?
Along with the candy line we have added a larger assortment of cup cookies. These are small little cookies in a minute cupcake like liner.
What is your best seller, describe?
Defiantly the lady lock cookies! Lady lock cookies have a flaky crust and are filled with a heavenly sweet cream.
Do you offer any sales incentives during the holiday seasons?
During the holiday sales we offer only one deal. When you buy three trays you get the fourth tray for free. In the cookie business I have found most people where purchasing around two to three trays so this was an added bonus.
What made you go into business for yourself?
The huge demand for cookies! People want them but they don’t want to spend the time baking them or they are just unable to find the time to make them.
Approximately how many cookies do you make during the holiday season?
Thousands upon thousands!
Do you do any type of catering?
We can handle the catering demands for parties or weddings. We do offer delivery for a small fee. We are basically your one stop shop for cookies and welcome anyone to call us with their cookie needs to discuss options.
What are you hoping for this year that deals with your business?
What every business owner is hoping for more customers! I would like to expand the company and do so would require more customers.
Do you offer shipping of your cookies during the winter months?
Because of many of the cookies we decided not to ship cookies due to damage and lateness of mail during the holiday season. Now if our customers want to ship cookies after purchase that is up to them.
Are you hopeful for the holiday season? Why?
Yes we are very hopeful, we have always done very well around the holiday seasons and this proves so far to be just as lucrative.
During the holiday season are you expected to hire any new employees?
As of this year we will not be hiring any new employees. I am a perfectionist when it comes to my cookies and I have yet to find someone who matched my ideas and the way the cookies should always be presented.
How has the economy affected you this year?
The price in chocolate has increased but otherwise we have managed to keep our costs down. We have not had to raise our prices there for not causing our customers to pay more for their cookies.
Are the holidays the strongest part of your business sales?
Yes, they are our busiest and most productive time of the year.
W. Fairmont Ave, New Castle, Pa.