Delicious Mandelbrot!

A little while ago I received a package in the mail from Libby & Laura – it was some samples of Mandelbrot. Now, being the quintessential Yiddishe Mama I have tried my hand a time or two at making Mandelbrot. The only thing they were good for were door stops or paperweights. So I was a little hesitant at first. But, the KoD and I brewed up some premium coffee (any excuse for coffee) and settled in to try some. Hello party in my mouth!! They were soft but not too soft, in fact they were the perfect consistency to be dunked in coffee and savoured. We polished them off in less than 60 seconds and it was a total shame because we needed more. Still do!

I was intrigued with the whole Libby & Laura story – here is a kosher boutique bakery in Chicago, that has not been in operation long, but is so professional and has such a great product. Laura Klibanow is the founder of the business and is a young dynamo. I asked Laura if she could spare me some time to tell me her story.

Who is Libby and who is Laura?

Laura

Obviously the Laura in the company name is the Laura with whom I was speaking. Libby was her father’s cousin who taught Laura the recipe to make Mandelbrot. She is no longer with us, but her legacy lives on.

What is Laura’s background?

Laura is a well travelled individual. She grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, and once she graduated she spread her wings. She went to university in Montreal – to McGill, and then to school in Salamanca, Spain. After completing a semester there, she made aliyah. While she was in Israel she had some business ideas that were just extremely difficult to implement. She made the decision to go back to school to get her Masters, and was blessed to receive a full scholarship to the University of Illinois in Chicago. While at school she continued her hobby – baking, and slowly started selling her Mandelbrot here and there. The demand became higher and she rented some space in a local kosher confectionary where she could use the ovens to keep up with the ever increasing demands.

Does Libby & Laura just sell Mandelbrot?

Laura explains that the company started off with just Mandlebrot, but now they sell other products. It being Purim season, they bake delicious new-flavours of hamantaschen – lemon poppyseed, peanut butter and jelly, and Smores. They bake brownies and blondies too. They have really gorgeous looking gift baskets and can also do party favours for you.

What has been the biggest hurdle so far?

Laura expressed her relief that there haven’t really been any huge hurdles, thank God, but the learning curve is a lot to handle (for example, learning about FDA packaging regulations). She has surrounded herself with wonderful mentors and advisors and is not afraid to ask for help and advice.

What is the secret to Libby & Laura’s success?

Laura told me that it isn’t enough to just bake and sell a kosher product. It needs to be just as good, if not better, as the non-kosher products out there. Libby & Laura’s products have the highest standards across the board, they just happen to be kosher. Their products are edgy and high end, they channel the young vibe.

So if kosher is just a footnote, why did go the kosher route?

It’s been a tremendous learning process for Laura and has taken her on her own personal journey within Judaism – learning about kashrut and every facet involved has just enhanced her spiritual connection.

Where can Libby & Laura products be purchased?

Online at www.libbyandlaura.com, and in several Chicago area stores.

GIVEAWAY!!!

Libby & Laura are giving away a $50 gift basket over on blog.kosher.com – read through the post for instructions on how to enter – I hope you win!

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  1. Reading this post actually made me head to my kitchen and throw up a batch of mandelbrot. I posted the recipe on my blog, for those of you who want to check it out :)

  2. thdpr says:

    I read this.
    I ordered hamentashen and mandelbrot.
    I wrote this – http://taliashewrote.com/2011/03/15/purim-goodies/

    You rock.

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