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There were three company founders; a talented baker, Suzanne Lombardi, who originated many of Dancing Deer's recipes, a theoretical physicist/business strategist, Ayis Antoniou, who loves to cook, and a business woman/artist, Trish Karter, whose passion is nature and the environment. All three have moved on, but many of their founding principles still remain with us at Dancing Deer.
Incorporated in April 1994 to provide high quality baked goods to accompany the growing market for gourmet coffee, we started out in a former pizza parlor on a busy street corner with a couple of convection ovens. Our specialty was cakes, sold primarily to cafes and restaurants. In 1996 we brought out a line of packaged consumer goods under the Dancing Deer label. Not long after that we opened the doors to passers by who demanded access and forced us in to having a small retail operation.
We surprised ourselves, and a lot of other people, when we won the Food Industry's equivalent of the "Oscars" in 1997 for our Molasses Clove Cookie. That same year, a food writer from (no kidding) Hollywood arrived at our counter looking for directions. Before we could really comprehend what was happening, Dancing Deer was on national TV being touted as making the "best cake in America". We had managed to have a toll free number up and running within 24 hours of receiving his call, and thus our mail order business was launched. Many more awards and honors have followed.
It has been an interesting journey. Our successes are due to luck, a tremendous amount of dedication and hard work, and a commitment to having fun while being true to our principles. We have had failures as well - and survived them with a sense of humor.
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