Wednesday, December 1, 2010

RubySnap replaces My Dough Girl after General Mills battle

Posted By on December 1, 2010, 8:02 AM

My Dough Girl owner Tami Cromar ultimately agreed to change the name of her cookie shop after threats from corporate giant General Mills--the owner of the Pillsbury Dough Boy trademark. Why? "It’s simple really, money equals power," she explains---

That's according to the press release from RubySnap, the new name for Cromar's boutique cookie shop.

City Weekly in July exposed the corporate intimidation used by General Mills to protect its trademark. General Mills had asked Cromar to not talk about the dispute, but Cromar mustered all her chutzpah--and some polite sass--to turn the battle into a cause célebre for local-business advocates.

RubySnap does not appear to be owned by any corporate giant, Cromar says in a press release.

To give back to the community that has supported My Dough Girl, starting Dec. 1 anyone who brings a Pillsbury or General Mills non-perishable food item to the RubySnap store will receive a free cookie. Cromar will donate all the proceeds to the local food bank. “It’s meant to shed our old name in good humor and to do an act of good measure.”

From the press release, here is a Q & A with Cromar, "Director of Appetites," also known as the owner, of RubySnap.

How challenging has it been to go up against a big guy?

It’s certainly was overwhelming to be challenged by a company as large as a small government. In truth the biggest challenge was the emotional hurdle, the sting of it. As soon as I made a choice not to make it personal, to be positive and move on, all was well. The whole event could have been tragic and ruined our dreams, choosing to walk away was the best decision for me.

What has been the most rewarding thing of this whole process?

The strength of the human spirit! Complete strangers from all over the country came forward to pledge their support. All of the good feelings were just as tremendous as the event itself. Originally My Dough Girl was just a personal adventure, now I feel like RubySnap belongs to everyone. I feel ownership to everyone who supported and buoyed us up.

What has surprised you?

This is the most difficult question because I don’t want to seem jaded. I learned the hard way that your trademark is as good as your pocket book. On the upside it was a magnificent back-handed compliment to think that our tiny Salt Lake City bakery posed any kind of threat. The local, national, and media support was remarkable.

What’s your plan for moving forward?

Business as usual! Keep making the best cookies on the planet from fresh all natural ingredients. We are excited to be launching our product with Whole Foods!

When and how did Dough Girl begin?

Dough Girl was born on paper in February 2008, but the seed of conception was born early in 1988 when a co-worker wouldn’t share a cookie recipe and the stubborn part of me decided to figure it out. My interest in baking was further stimulated as I became a newlywed and wife. Over the years I became more creative and more competitive and my talents grew into a marketable avenue.

When and what did Pillsbury do to Dough Girl?

In May of 2010 Pillsbury presented a cease and desist order to My Dough Girl claiming use of the name tarnished and infringed on their icon the Dough Boy. A $23 Billion dollar company was daunting to a small start up local business of only 2 years. Rather than fight with good and just cause, standing in the right, having pursued all legal avenues to clear and trademark our name, we relented rather than fight a conglomerate the size of a small country.

For more information visit: rubysnap.com

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Jesse Fruhwirth

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