FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HARLEYSVILLE, PA. – Joseph Springer has always loved brownies with a chewy edge; in fact, he used to slice a pan of brownies before it was done baking so each square would have four chewy edges. His wife and mother-in-law did not appreciate that very much.
“They yelled at me,” he recalls, laughing.
The EMS pilot wondered if he could invent an “all edge” brownie pan to keep peace in the family and give him a whole pan full of chewy brownies. He first came up with the idea about 20 years ago when he was a helicopter pilot in the Marine Corps. A fellow Marine and friend had spent a “huge amount of money” patenting a new product idea, however, so Springer didn’t think developing his was an option. He thought that was just the way it was done.
“I really didn’t have any desire (to pursue it) because of what I perceived about the cost.”
Several years later, however, he submitted his idea to Davison, a product development firm in Pittsburgh, and the work began.
“They did some modifications to my pan design which I actually thought was an improvement,” said Springer.
His finished product, the Silicone Dessert Bar Pan is now for sale in select Bed, Bath & Beyond stores, as well as Hobby Lobby, Kitchen Collections, Cooking.com, and other retailers. Almost all who have reviewed it have given it five stars, with many of them recommending the pan for a variety of baked goods
The real test, however, will come on Tuesday, Dec. 14, at 10 a.m. when his invention is presented on QVC to a national audience, just in time for the holidays.
“I am very excited to see it on QVC and I am hoping that it does well!” he said.
There could be other airings, as the manufacturer is expanding the product to an entire line of silicone bakeware for holiday-themed treats. Pans for Valentine’s Day and Easter will hit the stores in early 2011, and variations for Thanksgiving and Christmas are also in the works!
During the design process, the product evolved from a metal pan to silicone bakeware that remains cool to the touch and bends for easy removal of items after baking; a rigid frame molded into the perimeter makes the pan safe to carry.
The 12 candy-bar shaped molds can be filled with brownie batter, Rice Krispie treats, cookie dough, and more – and all the treats come out with four chewy edges.
It took about three years to find a manufacturer; in fact, XHP, was the sixth corporation to review the idea. But the first-time inventor decided to keep going, despite the setbacks.
“It is an emotional roller coaster; up and down,” said the retired major, who now flies helicopters for the University of Pennsylvania hospital in Philadelphia.
In 1997, he participated in Operation Silverwake in Bosnia, which rescued about 800 civilians from the American embassy while the area was under attack. The veteran often takes a ribbing from friends about how the tough, former Marine is now designing bakeware. He feels quite secure in his manhood, however, and doesn’t mind the jokes.
Springer and his wife, Rhonda, were recently invited to Davison where his invention was named Product of the Year at the holiday party.
“Here’s a guy who stands for everything that’s so great about this country,” said founder and CEO George Davison as he introduced the entrepreneur.
Davison explained the new product development process requires a lot of persistence and trial and error. The suspense built as he popped one balloon after another to depict the five times the inventor’s idea was turned down by corporations. When the inventor popped the sixth balloon, it revealed his first royalty check!
“Thank you very much; I really appreciate it,” said Springer. “Thanks for all the work you guys are doing; it’s excellent.”
The Springers plan to put some of the money away for their children’s education and pay off bills, as the road to success was not always an easy one.
“Joseph had his share of struggles along the way, but he never gave up,” said Davison. “We couldn’t be happier for him and his family.”
Joseph’s father, also a Marine veteran, thought he was a bit foolish for pursuing and investing in his idea over the years; then his son gave him a box from Davison with his packaged product inside.
“When he saw the pan and after I told him it would be in stores and on QVC he was quite surprised, and he did change his tone!”
The entire family also has been enjoying the edible rewards – they use the pan frequently to bake all kinds of goodies. The inventor has one piece of advice, however, for those who purchase his pan in the stores or on QVC.
“Let the brownies cool before you remove them; they’ll pop right out!”
To see the debut airing of the Silicone Dessert Bar Pan, tune to QVC on Tuesday, Dec. 14, at 10 a.m.
Davison is a new product development company that has created a method of building ideas into products that makes the process affordable for individual inventors, as well as corporations.
Products and packaging solutions designed by Davison have sold in more than 500 stores, including Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Walmart, Home Depot, Sears, K-Mart, JC Penney, Jo-Ann Stores, FAO Schwarz, Cabela’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods. For more information, go to www.davison.com.
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