Client Spotlight: Fruitful Brands

March 14, 2024 | Amanda Green

Fudgy Pops – Fruitful Brands

Deborah Gorman and Nicole Cardone were inspired to make creative products that are healthier, more delicious, and sustainable more than a decade ago. They came together to create Fruitful Brands. They first created SorBabes, a soft frozen fruit bar with a crunchy flavorful shell. Then came Fudgy Pops, a fun, retro-inspired dessert with a scrumptiously rich, chewy, and delicious flavor that will remind you of your childhood, but better. We sat down with Deborah and Nicole to see how they create such fun, flavorful treats! It turns out these two were just destined to start a business together!

Fruitful Brands

Did you two know each other before launching Fruitful Brands? How did your partnership come to be? 

Deborah and I had an “arranged marriage,” my mother-in-law knew both of us and when she learned about the business idea I had she said, you have to meet Deborah!  We contribute so much of our success over the past decade to our partnership. When we started we were barely acquaintances, but we had a similar work ethic and passion for the business and similar personal values that kept us connected in a very real way through all the ups and downs of starting the business. Over the years we have become as close as sisters, I like to call her my better half. 😊

Have you had to overcome specific challenges because you are a woman-owned business? 

Yes, I think along the lines of working with operational departments such as logistics, manufacturing, and fundraising – stereotypically male-dominated areas and it can be challenging to communicate in that world. We specifically remember a good-ole-boy distributor in New York City sitting us down and saying “Look girls, you are too nice for this business. You should go find something else to do.” That was over 10 years ago, we still laugh about it.

Let’s talk about the Fudgy Pop branding. You perfectly embody the idea of “nowstalgia” — a new twist on something classic. Eating one of these fudge bars feels like an experience rather than a quick snack. Tell us about the thought process that brought you to this place in your branding and packaging. Did you achieve what you wanted to achieve? 

We just love the nostalgia of ice cream. Kids don’t think about calories or guilt when it comes to dessert, it just brings joy. Deborah and I were inspired by the love of chocolate to make the fudgiest fudge bar on the market, and as adults we looked back to the original jello pudding pops that brought the idea of frozen fudge on a stick to the country. It was so simple yet so revolutionary for the time, how fun and satisfying it was to eat an ice pop of soft frozen fudge. We wanted to remind everyone else of the simpler times, if only for a few minutes while they enjoy a FudgyPop, we wanted to re-spark some of that simple joy.

Your original product, SorBabes is also so fun! I’m sure you’re both full of ideas on what’s next. Where do you see Fruitful Brands in 5 years? 

We love innovating and having been in grocery for 12 years now, we see so much potential in and out of the frozen space. We created the umbrella company Fruitful Brands as a platform to launch new brands and leverage our extensive network of suppliers, manufacturers, cold chain logistics, and distributors, we plan to continue to grow our brands and add new ones when the time is right.

What is personally your favorite SorBabes flavor?  

Personally, my favorite is the Strawberries & Cream, though our newest flavor, an HEB exclusive, Banana Cream & Cookies, may be quickly becoming my new favorite child.

What advice would you give to women who want to launch a consumer product goods (CPG) company? 

Make sure you have a solid support network and everyone in your circle is on board. There will be so many ups and downs, if your family, spouse, kids, and friends aren’t on the ride with you it can make it even more challenging.

Now for a question that I ask all of our clients: Name one thing you like about working with Orca Communications.

I love the consistent communication, I never feel like we’re in the dark or haven’t heard anything in a while. We feel close to all the activity and that is reassuring.

Are there any new products, flavors, or projects you’re working on right now that you’d like to share?

We just launched this month our newest flavor of SorBabes Banana Cream & Cookies which is an HEB exclusive, it is made with a significant amount of real banana puree and tastes like frozen banana pudding. Our newest flavor of FudgyPop is the Fudgin’Orange, and that came out of the gate a sleeper favorite. Everyone is obsessed with this flavor now that it launched at Sprouts nationwide, and it’s easy to see why!