Dorothy Lane Market is putting the finishing touches on a new 7,200-square-foot bakery addition that will allow it to ramp up production of Killer Brownies for wider distribution across North America.
The indulgent — and trademarked — Killer Brownies “went national” more than a decade ago, when DLM set up a separate company to oversee distribution to grocery stores and chains outside of the Dayton area, according to Norman Mayne, CEO of Dorothy Lane Market. The first customer was Lunds & Byerlys markets in Minnesota, and today, Killer Brownies are available at about 1,000 grocery stores and specialty markets throughout the U.S. and Canada, ranging from the Wegmans Food Markets chain on the eastern seaboard to Metropolitan Market locations in Seattle.
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The brownies currently are mixed, baked and cut in the same bakery as other DLM bakery items, including its European-style breads, store-made granola and other items, in DLM’s production bakery tucked into the back of the Washington Square Shopping Center in Washington Twp. But by the first of November, the addition to the bakery will be complete, and Killer Brownies production will shift to the new, larger space.
That, Mayne said, “will allow us to sell more brownies.”
DLM does not release dollar or volume sales information for Killer Brownies, but Mayne said business “has been growing.”
The family-owned DLM operates three stores: on Far Hills Avenue in Oakwood; in the Washington Square Shopping Center at Whipp Road and Far Hills Avenue in Washington Twp.; and on Ohio 741 in Springboro. The small chain has been investing in other bakery improvements, including a $180,000 oven imported from Germany in early 2014 to help automate and improve the baking of DLM’s crusty European-style breads.
The three DLM stores are at the epicenter of intense grocery competition in southern Montgomery County and northern Warren County that includes multiple Kroger, Meijer,Walmart and Sam’s Club stores; specialty grocers such as Earth Fare and Trader Joe’s; and recently opened stores such as Whole Foods Market, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market and Costco Wholesale.