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Obsessive Confection Disorder, Fairfield

Melodi Donahue began making confections professionally a few years ago, switching entirely to vegan formulas in April 2011. The name of her company is a clever play upon a very real debilitating condition that plagues her personal and professional life – obsessive compulsive disorder. Her intellectually humorous names for her products continue the theme of having fun while enjoying treats made without any animal-derived ingredients. Her presence has been noticed worldwide as a result of her involvement with various animal rights organizations.

As with most small business start-ups, Melodi is struggling with keeping her day job in children’s education while juggling the growing demands for her products. Because she has OCD, she has a tough time delegating her business tasks – never mind trying to find the time to keep her business plan and financial projections current. Melodi needed a smart marketing strategy to capitalize upon the potential for growth in the booming vegan movement, as well as financial support to purchase automating equipment to keep up with the ever growing demand for her products.

Melodi attended a specialty food training conducted by Anni Minuzzo at the Solano College SBDC and then met Anni for follow-up one-on-one counseling. Anni worked with Melodi to understand her cost of goods sold and on developing a strategy for participating in trade shows. They also discussed financing for the business, but for now Melodi decided not to pursue a loan and grow the business with a small amount of funding from a supporter.

Since working with the SBDC, client has reported an increase in sales and hiring one person to help with the growing business. She will also be attending the 2012 Academy Awards at the end of February, as a vendor in the swag lounge for nominees and presenters. She was sought out by the agency that hosts the swag parties for the event after Hollywood elite sampled her products in Summer 2011.

"I am so grateful to Anni Minuzzo for her tireless support and involvement with me this first year of business. Despite wicked busy schedules, Anni always finds a way to reach out and offer encouragement and accolades – she is a treasured mentor who has taught me volumes about marketing, finance, structure and growth in the cottage food industry."

Obsessive Confection Disorder
Melodi Donahue
1619 Shadywood Ct., Fairfield, CA 94534
Business Advisor: Anni Minuzzo