Sweet Travels met with Roxanne Kam one September morning to get an insiders look at RW Delights, the company behind Heavenly Soufflé. If you have never indulged in one of the four Heavenly Soufflé desserts (Chocolate, Chocolate Mint, Crème Brûlée, or Pumpkin) go ahead and treat yourself! You will not be disappointed AND there is no mess to clean up as these desserts are sold frozen so all you have to do is open and bake them.
1) You were a Controller in NYC with a killer recipe for a chocolate soufflé. What was the turning point for you to jump careers?
I left my job as a Controller at an Engineering Company when my husband was transferred to Michigan. We packed up my two young children and headed out to a suburb of Detroit. I threw myself into volunteer work and met a friend who loved to entertain. We started tossing around the idea of selling chocolate soufflés in ramekins. However, shortly thereafter my husband was transferred back to New Jersey. Once I got everyone settled back in New Jersey, I teamed up with an old family friend, Wendy Friedmann, who was a sales and marketing expert, and RW Delights was born in 2006.
2) Where did you start to produce your product? Many small start-ups have shared commercial kitchens to lower start-up costs. How did RW Delights get off the ground?
Our first sale was to White Toque, a frozen food distributor of specialty products located in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. We were on a steep learning curve as we had our product, frozen chocolate soufflés, but we were creating our branding, packaging, and marketing all at the same time.
We decided to sign up with Rutgers Food Innovation Center, an incubator for small start-ups. Companies sign up for kitchen space and they help with the scaling of recipes and refining the nutritional aspects of each offering. Our daily routine involved baking from 8 pm – 3 am and then returning at 6 am to transfer our products for storage to a 3rd party freezer. We were fortunate to meet many culinary professionals along the way who helped us throughout our learning process. One seasoned pro was Seymour Tabatchnick, the frozen soup pioneer. By chance, we met Mr. Tabatchnick while looking for kitchen space and as luck would have it, he offered us shared kitchen space. An incredible mentor to us as we grew our business, Mr. Tabatchnick loved sharing his knowledge of the food industry and educating us on all aspects of the business. Currently, we are located in a shared kitchen space in Millington, New Jersey.
3) What was the hardest part of your start-up phase?
There are so many factors to consider and challenges you face when starting a new company, especially in the food business. First off, we spent a lot of time tweaking our recipes for large scale production. To get it right, it takes time. We knew we had a delicious dessert to offer, but the next step was to design the packaging. Once we nailed the packaging, we were fortunate in that we landed Fresh Direct as one of our first distributors. Now you can find us in Whole Foods, Kings, Balducci’s, Fairway, and the Wine Library.
4) Does social media factor into your marketing plan?
No, not really. We have an established base of distributors and large customers consisting of hotels, caterers, and restaurants. Many country clubs and restaurants have outsourced their desserts to companies such as RW Delights. We also have had great press in Food & Wine, Wine Spectator, Chocolatier, and Daily Candy.
5) What flavors do you offer and do you offer any seasonal desserts?
We offer four flavors: Chocolate Soufflé, Chocolate Mint Soufflé, Pumpkin Soufflé, and Crème Brûlée. We do offer a private label program to clients such as Omaha Steaks as well.
Photos Courtesy of Roxanne Kam
On a side note from Moira McCullough…There is nothing better than coming home after a long day of work and remembering you have a special dessert stored in the freezer for just the right moment. I stocked up on a few boxes for those nights I have a craving for a tasty chocolate dessert without the work. Plain out of the oven or with a dollop of crème anglaise or vanilla ice cream, enjoy Heavenly Soufflé!
Ps…Valentine’s Day is coming soon.