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How a Katonah woman parlayed a winning rugelach recipe into a different kind of “bread”

spotlighting our county’s homegrown offerings

There’s an old Yiddish proverb, “The best bread is baked in your own home.” With this gastronomic guidance, Suzanne Fromm of Katonah launched Suzanne’s Sweets to sell her delectable desserts.

Fromm began baking rugelach, a rolled pastry filled with nuts, jam, or chocolate, whose name literally means “little twist” in Yiddish, during the Jewish holidays. Her friends and family, wowed by her rugelach, urged her to sell the treat to local caterers and coffee shops.

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When the demand for her rugelach soon proved too much for her single oven, she partnered with Andy Gioe of Queens. The staff now crafts the all-natural, kosher-certified rugelach, which are today sold worldwide from the company’s website, suzannessweets.com. Fromm has made appearances on the Joan Hamburg Show and the Rachael Ray Show, in Los Angeles magazine and Desserts Magazine, on QVC, and at chocolate.com.

Fromm sells her rugelach ($15.95/lb) in more than 20 stores from Peekskill to Port Chester for lower prices than some artisan food competitors like Dean & Deluca ($48/1.5lb). “We watch our costs very seriously because all ingredient prices—butter, sugar, flour, walnuts—are rising every day,” she says. “It’s a big challenge keeping our bottom line tight so we do not have to raise our
prices.” She has managed to quadruple sales in five years.

Before the end of 2011, Fromm plans to formulate five new cookie flavors (chocolate chip, cranberry walnut, peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, and chocolate fudge), as well as a line of homemade brownies for 2012.

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