A plucky woman’s charming story about her crash course in the small-business world as she builds a food company from the ground up.
Frucci and her husband, Paul, aren’t strangers to financial ruin. After facing bankruptcy and a foreclosed home, the couple is re-establishing the life they’ve lost in an attempt to regain their economic equilibrium. Frucci is selling real estate while her husband, who briefly left the corporate world to try out real estate development, has returned to the rat race. Unhappy with her commissions and losing out to an almost genetically imposed love of brownies, Frucci kicks around the idea of saving her waistline—and her family’s financial future—by developing a line of low-fat brownies. Without a culinary degree or any small-business experience, Frucci sets out—testing, tasting and strategizing—to create a delectable product and a rock-solid business model for her new company, No Pudge! A compelling plot and the Frucci’s preternatural good luck—she immediately stumbles upon a mentor with a career in the food industry—effortlessly carry the reader through the story. For anyone interested in the ins and outs of establishing a baking brand in the seemingly tortuous food world, the book is an excellent primer. Women maneuvering the sexual politics of bread-winning in a marriage and caring for a brood as stay-at-home business women will be able to relate to Frucci’s struggles. Still, the book could have dug deeper into the stresses and sacrifices mothers make in the face of skepticism (the most off-putting character turns out to be the doubting Paul) and their children’s needs. Ultimately, though, Frucci trudges through these complications, remaining committed to herself and her own instincts.
A quick-witted, engrossing read, Frucci’s memoir bubbles with can-do, feminist moxie and the simple tenet that a great idea will never fail you.