Success Is Sweet
Before Whimsy Cookie Company delighted the taste buds of cookie lovers in the Memphis area — and now nationwide — it was just one woman baking cookies in her kitchen.
“I started making cookies out of my home in 2006,” Laurie Suriff says. “When my husband needed something to take to his clients, I suggested Mom’s sugar cookies. I made them and decorated them with a logo.”
Suriff’s cookie-decorating skills and her mom’s secret recipe were a hit. Word of mouth spread and she began selling cookies to family, friends and co-workers. Soon she added corporations and other customers to her list.
In 2012, Collins Tuohy, a Whimsy Cookie Company customer, approached Suriff about starting a partnership. The two found a commercial kitchen in Memphis, and from there they developed their small business for online and phone orders.
“I knew immediately that her product was one of the best things I had seen anywhere in the country. It had the potential to be something really great.”
— Collins Tuohy
Director of sales and marketing, co-owner
Whimsy Cookie Company
Business quickly grew and they opened a brick-and-mortar store with enough space to hold events and display their cookies for in-store purchases.
Their retail space includes a party room where they hold cookie-decorating parties for kids. They also host a weekly story time so busy parents can drop their kids off for a few hours while they run errands.
Strengthening an online presence
As they continued to build their local reputation, Suriff and Tuohy also expanded their business nationwide. They recently teamed up with Williams Sonoma, giving customers another way to order Whimsy Cookie Company products. From July through December, customers can order holiday cookies online and via print catalogs.
Suriff and Tuohy strive to give their online customers the best experience possible on all fronts — from the taste and custom design of their cookies to the packaging and how the shipment arrives on their customers’ doorsteps.
“It’s really important that our clients get their cookies in one piece,” Suriff says.
Even though 94–95 percent of their shipments were arriving unbroken, Suriff and Tuohy wanted better results. They met with engineers at the FedEx Packaging Lab to see what they could do to protect their cookies even more.
“Right off the bat, FedEx had great suggestions for ways we could protect our products,” Tuohy says.
“Whimsy Cookie Company creates an edible, handmade, artistic product. When you’re delivering edible art, it has to be done as perfectly as possible. If we can get our shipping success rate to go from 94 or 95 percent to 99 percent by changing the way we pack our cookies, that’s huge. FedEx is helping us do that.”
— Collins Tuohy
From good to great
At the FedEx Packaging Lab, engineers Evan Edwards and Mickey Rainey analyzed the cookie company’s packaging. They suggested a few changes to protect the decorative inner boxes and reduce cookie breakage:
- Insert partitions inside the box.
- Position the cookies differently.
- Use an outer shipping box.
Once these refinements were made, the engineers ran the new packaging through a series of stations — drop, compression and vibration tests — to see how the cookies would withstand the distribution environment. The new packaging passed each test.
“The people at the FedEx Packaging Lab were wonderful to work with. They were so knowledgeable, the process was easy, and they really understood us and our needs. We put their advice to use and our customers are very pleased.”
— Laurie Surriff
Founder and co-owner
Whimsy Cookie Company
Pack it right, ship it perfect
The recommendations Suriff and Tuohy received provided them with better shipping results and greater customer satisfaction.
You can achieve great results, too, by following these tips from the FedEx Packaging Lab engineers:
- Choose the right box. The best box is sturdy enough to support the product’s weight and large enough to accommodate cushioning material.
- Cushion your product. Put the product in the middle of the box with ample cushioning on all sides.
- Seal your box. For a standard corrugated box, create an “H” by taping down the middle seam and on each edge.
- Consult with experts. The packaging engineers take into account how boxes are placed on a conveyor belt and stacked in a truck or airplane.
Refine your packaging strategy
Learn how the engineers in the FedEx Packaging Lab can help you safeguard your product by suggesting proper packaging and packing methods. Contact your account executive for next steps or to arrange for a free packaging evaluation.