Today’s guest on Mitlin Money Mindset™ is Agathe Assouline, CEO, and co-founder of Red Velvet NYC, a gourmet baking kit delivery service that helps both novice and expert bakers pull off culinary feats in their home kitchens. Red Velvet NYC is often referred to as the Blue Apron of dessert. The idea for the company was born out of a strong passion for baking and Agathe’s love of bringing people together over homemade food. Agathe and Red Velvet NYC have been a hit since coming onto the scene in 2015. If you are a family that likes baking or wants to give it a try check them out. We have used her company for gifts for our own clients and it’s always been a great experience.
You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…
- What led Agathe and her sister to launch Red Velvet NYC [2:02]
- How do you come up with the next great item to create a baking kit for? [5:02]
- Why eggs aren’t included in the kits, it’s not just the obvious reason [9:57]
- What’s been the most beneficial way to attract new business? [12:00]
- How has the pandemic affected business? [16:52]
- Red Velvet’s charitable components [19:08]
- What Agathe Assouline did today that put her in the right mindset for success? [22:57]
Where did the idea for Red Velvet NYC come from?
It started with the mission of being able to help people enjoy their time in the kitchen. They wanted to make baking easy, fun, accessible, and educational. Agathe and her sister live in New York City and were frustrated that there was never an easy option to pull off dessert. If you went to a dinner party and you wanted to bring something like a tiramisu— which is one of the most popular desserts out there— it was impossible to find ladyfingers and mascarpone. Two very essential ingredients.
Agathe and her sister were both very early adopters of the meal kit space where companies were providing everything you needed to make dinner. However, there was nothing out there to help you make dessert. It’s something that people are often very intimidated by. They say I don’t have the ingredients, I don’t have the tools, I don’t know a good recipe. So all of that led us to think, well, there has to be an easier way to make dessert at home. So, born was the idea of Red Velvet NYC.
Red Velvet NYC has you covered from loved classics to exciting new creations
Red Velvet NYC has developed over 75 different recipes in the last five years that they rotate. They’ve discovered that people love tried and true classics. There will always be those desserts that make people feel good or remind them of what their grandmother might’ve made. That made sticking to the classics important. They also enjoy coming up with new and exciting ideas that incorporate interesting ingredients such as lavender, matcha, and others that you don’t normally find that you may not know what to do with if you did.
Their top-selling baking kits are anything to do with red velvet, celebratory items like their celebration cupcakes, and Nutella cupcakes. It’s about honing in on those classics and then giving people interesting alternatives.
They receive a lot of feedback from their bakers. For example, last year’s #1 requested item was a German chocolate cake kit. German chocolate cake is hard to make but a lot of people don’t necessarily understand that. Red Velvet NYC made it happen! Customers were really excited about that. This year they’re launching a French macaron kit and Agathe says those are hard to make mostly because of the tools that come with it. Their kits don’t just come with every ingredient, they also come with every tool needed for the job from parchment paper to piping bags and cookie cutters.
Attracting new business and getting the word out
Red Velvet NYC started off as a very small business. They started from their personal savings and a lot of sweat equity. Agathe said they didn’t have thousands to spend on ads or marketing so she went back to what she knew from the corporate world which was partnerships. They
sought out like-minded companies who were targeting a similar audience and found innovative ways to partner with them and cross-promote.
In the beginning, it was hard. They had a small client base and didn’t have as much to offer as they do now. Agathe says persistence and coming up with creative ideas is the key and they were able to get some amazing partnerships.
Resources & People Mentioned
Connect with Agathe Assouline
Agathe Assouline-Lichten is the CEO and Co-Founder of Red Velvet NYC, a gourmet baking kit delivery service that helps both novice and expert bakers pull off culinary feats in their home kitchens. After spending nearly a decade in luxury marketing negotiating strategic partnerships for international luxury goods companies such as Sotheby’s, Richemont Group, and Harry Winston, Agathe knows what sets a brand apart and drives repeat conversions – it’s the opportunity to connect with clients over an exceptional experience.
Red Velvet NYC, often referred to as the “Blue Apron” of dessert, was founded at the end of 2015 with the goal of disrupting and innovating the $12 billion home baking market in the USA. The idea for the company was born out of a strong passion for baking, and Agathe’s love of bringing people together over homemade food. The unique service has been featured in Food & Wine Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, BBC, Business Insider, Cosmopolitan Magazine, among others. In July, Red Velvet NYC won the Campbell Soup Real Food Innovation Challenge for standing out as an innovative food company and adhering to the Campbell Real Food Philosophy.
Agathe holds a BA in Art History from Boston University and an MBA in Hospitality from the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland.
Guests on the Mitlin Money Mindset Show are not affiliated with CWM, LLC, and opinions expressed herein may not be representative of CWM, LLC. CWM, LLC is not responsible for the guest’s content linked on this site.
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