My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.

Bette LaPlante & Diane Cuvelier

49, 43, co-founders of Doughmakers LLC in Terre Haute, Indiana
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the April 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Description: manufacturer of solid aluminum bakeware with a patented pebble pattern

Start-up: $1,000 in 1997

Sales:: 2003 projected sales of more than $5 million

Bake Sale: As den mother for her son's Cub Scout group in 1990, LaPlante was looking for a good fund-raiser. Her husband suggested making and selling cookie sheets, with help from his aluminum-die-cutting business. "I thought it was the silliest idea," says LaPlante."What boys want to sell cookie sheets?" But she changed her tune when each came back with fistfuls of cash, needing more sheets.

Back-Burner Biz: While their children and her husband's business took precedence, LaPlante continued to experiment with different textures and aluminum thicknesses, finding a combination that would yield perfectly baked cookies. With her sister in 1997, LaPlante began attending shows for organizations like Little League and the PTA, offering a fund-raising program that would split the profit.

Labor of Love: Doughmakers expanded the line in 2001 to include bakeware such as pizza and jellyroll pans, now sold in more than 2,000 stores, including Macy's. Making the sheets by hand, however, led to carpal tunnel syndrome for LaPlante and Cuvelier. The sisters now have machines to make the sheets, but baking is still hands-on for the family. Says LaPlante, "It's something we can all work on [while having] good conversations."

More from Entrepreneur

Jon Horowitz is dedicated to helping brands with grow their social footprint by aligning with influencers and creating innovative content.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
Are you paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.

Latest on Entrepreneur