When she started selling sandwich wraps from a food cart in Boston, Stacy Madison’s plan was to eventually own a brick-and-mortar restaurant. All that changed, however, when Ms. Madison started baking leftover pita bread into chips and passing them out to hungry customers waiting in line.
“We had all this bread at the end of the day that we would bake into different flavored chips,” she said. “Technically this was really an inventory management strategy. We had all of this leftover bread, and it’s something that’s done in restaurants all of the time, but we didn’t realize it at the time.”
The chips were a hit with the food cart customers, and from that opportunity Stacy’s Pita Chips Co. was born. In 2006, when PepsiCo, Inc., Purchase, NY, acquired the company, Stacy’s Pita Chips was bringing in nearly $60 million a year and had established not only a new trend but also a whole new category of snacks.
Since then, Ms. Madison has gone onto other ventures such as the new BeBOLD refrigerated bar company. In this episode of Since Sliced Bread, she shares the challenges that come with creating new products that defy expectations and the importance of staying connected with consumers.