Tootie Pie Co., Inc. released the following comments from Don Merrill, president and CEO:
"As we head into this holiday season, I believe now is a good time to take stock of how far we have come as a company and how far we want to go. I firmly believe that we have found the recipe for success. We have created a brand that resonates with consumers at all levels. We have received accolades from national publications and media like the 'Food Network', 'Rachael Ray', & 'Southern Living', just to name a few. And more will come! But nothing has been more impactful, or will be more impactful, than our 'Tootie Pie Gourmet Cafes."
"In 2005, we launched the Tootie Pie Co. By 2008, we were selling Tootie Pies into every available sales channel: wholesale foodservice and grocery, retail and corporate. We were focused on growing our top line revenues, starting from zero and hitting our first million dollars in sales in just two years. Then the recession hit and many businesses failed. We were determined to make sure Tootie Pie was not one of them. We knew opportunity existed and we seized on it with the acquisition of our first 'Tootie Pie Gourmet Cafe' in the fall of 2009.
"In two years since our first Cafe, we have grown the number from one to seven. We now have Cafes in San Antonio, Austin, Fredericksburg and Dallas, Texas. We have seen our sales grow from $1 million, to what I expect to be well over $3 million for this fiscal year. We have invested over $2 million in our Cafes, which represents over half of the capital we have invested to date.
"Like any growth company, there have been some growing pains. As most business people know, new businesses take time to develop. They take time to reach a critical mass of revenues. Those start ups that do succeed usually take between five and seven years to achieve that success. And most fail. We knew when we launched the Cafes that things might get tougher before they got better and the last two years have been challenging, for sure.
"As many of you know, we have just recently completed our public filings. The delay was due to a number of accounting related factors, including how to treat our Cafe related expenses; how to account for stock and options granted to employees and how to account for some sales related transactions like Groupon, just to name a few examples. We believe we have done our best to evaluate and incorporate the, at times, conflicting interpretations and recommendations from two different accounting firms. We do plan to continue to do our best to keep up with the ever changing rules and regulations associated with being a small public company, while providing timely reports on a regular basis for our investors.
"We expect the current fiscal year, ending in March, 2013, will be our best year ever. It has already started very well. We expect bottom line profitability, and trust that our efforts will lead to the continued growth of the 'Tootie Pie' brand; while resulting in rewards for our shareholders; because we are shareholders, too."