Cookies mixed in a Fairborn home are being baked 7,000 miles away.
Ella Bella Gluten-Free filled its first international sale in June when it shipped a case each of gluten-free flour, brownie, chocolate chip and sugar cookie mixes and two cases of lactation cookie mix to Chisai-Bums, a shop in Okinawa, Japan.
“I am extremely excited, and just flabbergasted, that something I made and created is going halfway around the world,” Ella Bella owner Mandy Groszko told Audrey Ingram of Dayton Tech Guide.
The lactation cookie mix is Ella Bella’s top seller.
Groszko was able to use domestic pricing and domestic customs forms to ship the mixes because there is a U.S. Air Force base in Okinawa.
Chisai-Bums’ owner discovered Ella Bella’s cookie mixes through a Facebook group created for mothers who use cloth diapers for new babies.
It was there that a Fort Wayne shop owner noted that she could sell Ella Bella’s lactation cookie mixes at a 100 percent markup.
Groszko developed her lactation cookie mix two years ago after a conversation with her longtime friend Allison Hopkey Fullenkamp, owner of samozrejme, an eco-friendly cloth diaper and parenting supply store in Troy.
The lactation cookie mix includes additional minerals and vitamins that help new moms produce milk.
Groszko launched Ella Bella, a home-based company, in 2012 after her daughter was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance.
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“I wanted to be able to make a single chocolate chip cookie that she would eat and like and that my husband would eat and like,” she told Ingram.
Ella Bella is currently on shelves in 21 retail stores, primarily in the Dayton-Cincinnati-Columbus region.
The mixes are on select shelves in California and Alaska.
“The dream is to get into a store in every state across the country,” she said. “I have a gluten-free product, the flour, that allows people to get back in the kitchen.”
Writer Audrey Ingram is a social media and events coordinator for Dayton Tech Guide. Her organization supports Dayton entrepreneurs.
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