Local/State

Better Together Bake Shop brownies

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Let's say you're happily married, raising a family and have a graduate business degree and a good-paying job. Living the dream, right?

Todd and Kestra Kelly thought so too. But while he liked his work in the business world, he always wanted to bake professionally.

So a few years ago, the couple left the Washington, D.C. area and moved to the Delaware Valley.

They began baking their Better Together brownies out of their kitchen; not unusual for a start-up food business.

"For a good year and a half that is how I started, we would just bake out of our house. My wife and I would stay up late wrapping the brownies after I baked them, and then we would go to farmer's markets," said Todd Kelly.

They would bake maybe 200 at a time and hawk them at local farmers' markets.

That continued until their oven broke. They fixed it, of course, but also decided to take their business to a storefront in Lansdowne.

They continued there until business made it impossible to continue there.

Today, their products are sold coast-to-coast at more than 200 locations. The baking is done by a suburban company under contract.

While the volume of business has changed again and again, the concept remains what it was on day one.

Ingredients like eggs and flour are locally-sourced. Chocolate is fair-trade. The recipes are true to the original, and come in five year-round flavors - chocolate, peanut butter, cookie, salted caramel and raspberry.

Being all-natural and preservative-free, the brownies don't keep as long as some.

Most customers don't store them long enough to care!

"It doesn't last as long, but the benefits you get from the good ingredients are worth it," said Kestra.

Each fall, they add a sixth flavor, pumpkin. It's their best seller every year.

The Kellys are always on the lookout for something worthy of their product line and are looking at adding a seventh brownie flavor, perhaps coconut.

They rely on their own research and the taste buds of friends and relatives to make the decision.

If you're looking for their products, you may buy them online or seek out a retailer by looking on their website, http://www.btbaking.com/.

Despite no longer having a storefront bakery, they have maintained the name Batter Together Bake Shop because they envision expanding the product line beyond brownies some day.

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