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Follow Your Inner Brownie

Advisors are helpful...but so is listening to your gut.

This story appears in the July 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

What started as a quest for a delicious fat-free brownie has turned into one of the grocery industry's most remarkable success stories. With virtually no advertising budget and a flat-out refusal to pay slotting fees (the grocery industry's practice of charging food manufacturers for shelf space for new products), Lindsay H. Frucci still expects her No Pudge! Foods Inc. fat-free brownie mix to get national distribution in major supermarket chains this year.

Frucci, 48, formed her company in 1995, after her passion for brownies and her aversion to fat drove her to develop a recipe that not only was fat-free, but also tasted good (an element other low-fat and nonfat mixes lacked). With a perfected recipe but no business experience, Frucci turned to the Service Corps Of Retired Executives Association (SCORE) for advice. "I hooked up with two wonderful guys who were wildly enthusiastic," she says. "They walked me through every step."

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