We are celebrating Bob Carmody’s 25th year as President of Diana’s Bananas! Learn more about Bob and how Diana’s Bananas came to be the “World’s Best Chocolate Covered Frozen Bananas”!
Let’s turn the clock back to the 1984 Taste of Chicago…Bob was helping his father-in-law, who was a successful candy retailer, and his daughter, Jeanine, sell chocolate-covered strawberries. It was a hot and humid day and to prevent their delicious items from melting they placed them on dry ice. Someone in the group, placed a banana in the cooler with dry ice to keep it cool. Well, what happened is that the banana became frozen. With melted chocolate already in their booth – to dip strawberries, they dipped that frozen banana into the melted chocolate and took a bite. It was that moment, they had discovered something special. Bob was tasked with buying bananas, immediately. They sold 25,000 frozen chocolate-dipped bananas at the 1984 Taste of Chicago.
Bob and Jeanine continued to sell the frozen chocolate-dipped bananas at street fairs around Chicago. At one of the fairs, a loyal fan and follower told them that he buys a ‘bunch’ from them at the fairs for his kid to enjoy. He went on to say that he would buy them if they were sold in grocery stores. At that moment, they knew what do next.
They chose to start selling to Jewel Foods. They did not know what to expect as this experience was new to them. They went to the corporate office with product samples, but without an appointment. While the other sales reps found it amusing, the receptionist found an executive to meet with Bob and Jeanine. The Jewel executive liked their frozen chocolate-dipped banana and instructed the frozen novelties buyer to teach Bob and Jeanine on the retail selling process, including packaging, nutrition labeling, etc, Fast forward to six months later, Jewel was carrying Diana’s Bananas!
Stay tuned for our next posting about Diana’s Bananas innovative ideas.