Meet Bracha and Rachelli Rosenthal, the unstoppable sisters behind Yummy Blessings and Yummy Blessings 2.0
We’ve all been in situations that look like there is no way forward. We each have a Yam Suf lying ahead, vast, impenetrable, with the thunder of those chasing us filling the air. We all have challenges; that’s a part of life. But only a select few can face their obstacles head-on, carefully wrap their challenges with pretty paper and a bow, and turn them into a gift. Or in this case, a thriving, multi-faceted business enterprise
Meet Bracha and Rachelli Rosenthal, the unstoppable sisters behind Yummy Blessings and Yummy Blessings 2.0.
Six years ago, the 16- and 14-year-olds were 10 and 8. Yup, you read that correctly. They were young. Like really young. But the two had been facing challenges in their daily lives, and school just wasn’t enjoyable anymore. So their mother, Mrs. Shulamis Rosenthal, encouraged them to get creative in the kitchen. It was a great, safe outlet, and the girls showed a real knack for turning out beautiful — and yummy — creations. One of the first times they sent one of their homemade goodies into the world was for a friend’s sister’s kiddush.
“Our friend’s mom called our mom afterward, raving about how pretty and delicious the package was. She told our mom we should be doing it professionally. And our mother agreed,” Rachelli shares.
They sat down and each came up with 50 names for their new company, and then worked together to narrow down the list to one that they both agreed on.
“Yummy Blessings” was a joint venture, and it felt right. Once they saw the business progressively growing, they felt it was time for a professional logo. Bracha had something very specific in mind. She drew it out — with fully detailed notes — and Raizy Beren of Alpha1 Creations made it into an official logo. About a year later, they felt they needed something more sophisticated. “We reached out to Chaya Teitelbaum, of Get Kinetic for a complete rebranding and packaging design,” explains Mrs. Rosenthal. “Before we sat down with her the first time, we confirmed that she’d be willing to work with the girls and take their input seriously. She perfectly executed our vision of something fun and ‘girly’ while sophisticated enough to be fitting for corporate customers.” Next on the list was creating a logo that they loved. The Yummy Blessings logo is the perfect blend of cute and corporate. So the Rosenthal sisters were on their way. They had a kitchen, they had a name, they had eager customers ready and waiting. But what they didn’t have was a hashgachah.
“No one was willing to give two children a hechsher,” Mrs. Rosenthal remembers. “The girls kept getting excited, only to have their hopes dashed. I remember once we almost made it to signing, and then the mashgiach pulled out. The girls were so disappointed my husband told them to get in the car; he took them to the baking store and said they could buy whatever they wanted, as consolation.”
“We bought our first log molds then,” Bracha remembers. “And they became one of our most popular items, so good things came from that disappointment. We always think back and wonder: If that didn’t happen, would we have started making chocolate logs?”
This — finding the silver lining in a haze of clouds — seems to be the Rosenthal sisters’ M.O. It was the impetus for their whole business, and it’s the message they want to give over to the world.
“A week after that, we received a wonderful hashgachah,” Rachelli says. “And we were in real, official business!”
The girls used large events as marketing opportunities, like a Chai Lifeline marathon, various Chinese auctions and tzedakah events. Their name started to trickle around town: Yummy Blessings is the place to acquire beautiful, trendy, delicious truffles, dipped pretzels, chocolate logs, brittle, cookies, and more.
“There was tons of trial and error involved, of course,” Rachelli says.
“We don’t have any training,” Bracha explains. “We see something pretty, or hear about something, and we just work until we can get the concept perfect.”
And they enjoy the challenge. “We have original ideas as well, and it’s always an ambivalent feeling when we see other companies that have copied our ideas! You know, flattering with a bit of frustration….”
Today the girls juggle homework, friends, tests, and life with their work as Yummy Blessings co-owners. “We’re so used to it,” Bracha says. “It doesn’t faze us. Or our friends. They know we have to fill orders, and they’re great about it. And we split jobs; Rachelli will do more of one thing and I’ll do more of another. It’s great to work with your sister. Yeah, it can be hard sometimes, but at the end of the day, we love it.”
Yamim Tovim, but specifically Purim, are their busiest times of year; people order packages by the dozen, and each one is dipped, decorated, wrapped, and tied with perfection and love.
“We are tired during hectic season,” Rachelli says, laughing, “but we so appreciate every order.”
The girls are teenagers today, still incredibly young to be business owners, but seasoned in the way of their home-grown venture. “And they’ve grown along with their business,” their mom says proudly. “They’re not little girls anymore. They are inspiring young women who have so much to show the world.”
And that’s where Yummy Blessings 2.0 comes in. “It’s all about the fact that every kid has an innate talent,” Bracha says emphatically. “Rachelli and I weren’t flourishing in school. It was hard for us, we were bullied before, and we were bullied after we began baking. Imagine if we had just stopped, we had curled up and hid from the world? We’d never know our capabilities, that it’s possible for us to start something so huge at such a young age, or even that we’re so great at chocolate decorating! We believe every single kid has a talent. They might not even know what it is yet, but it’s there, and it’s so important they discover it, they utilize it. Finding and developing your talents and strengths is not just important in order to have enjoyable outlets; we believe that it’s part of building self-esteem. Everyone needs to feel accomplished. Everyone needs to feel they have a strength. And a voice.”
And so, the sisters set out to find successful, accomplished adults, people others look up to and admire, and discover their stories. What was the thing that could have set them back as a child? What was the moment they could have given up and they didn’t? What did they overcome in order to persevere? Names like Yocheved Gross of hairstyling fame, super singer Dobby Baum, Tzippy of Byrd by Tzippy designs, Malky Knopfler from The Malky Show, and June Aboksis, the founder of Junees.
“I’ve had adults call me, very emotional,” shares Mrs. Rosenthal. “They say they wish they had something like this when they were growing up, something to remind them that everyone needs to struggle in order to succeed, that no one has all the cards handed to them perfectly.”
The girls publicized these clips to inspire others, to encourage others to never give up. “We want people to redefine the way they look at themselves, to see that they are more than their weaknesses. They need to see the greatness within, and understand that Hashem gave them a mixed bag of sweet and bitter moments, but that they can use them all for the good.”
Yummy Blessings 2.0 launched in December with a bang and a beautiful party. The website is now live, a platform from where the girls encourage every person out there, young or old, to find their story. And share it with the world.
The website offers a variety of delicious chocolate bars with inspiring messages on the wrappers:
Be true to you
Trying and failing is better than failing to try.
It’s the effort that counts, not the results.
Be your awesome self.
“Our mother stood by us, supported us, encouraged us,” Bracha says. “And that made all the difference. We want to make it possible for other mothers to do the same. Slip one of these bars into your child’s school bag, and let her feel your blessings. Also, it’s yummy.”
Bracha’s Tips on Being Bullied
If someone is bullying you, you can be sure they don’t feel good about themselves. They obviously feel down inside, because as we all know, hurt people hurt people. So remind yourself that you’re amazing the way you are. Don’t believe the bully’s words, because a reaction from you is all the fuel they need to keep up what they’re doing.
Rachelli Shares Strategies for Juggling Work and Play
Make a schedule. If you have an essay to write, do it as soon as you get home from school. Get the big things out of the way early so you can feel calm, relaxed, and enjoy the freedom of the rest of your day.
Mom to Mom:
Mrs. Rosenthal speaks
Every child, whether they are a star student or if they’re struggling just wants your time and attention. They want to be seen, acknowledged, valued. So if I could give a message over to the other hardworking moms, it’d be: Listen to your children. Hear them, see what they’re going through. Put the phone down, and let them know you want to hear everything they have to say. Show them you are interested in their lives.
When my girls were going through a hard time at school, I badly wanted them to know that they are not defined by their struggles. They are so much bigger than that. Each child is their own person; there is no cookie cutter model. Each one is a blend of strengths and weaknesses.
A couple of years ago, I attended orientation for my son. The Rosh Yeshivah stood up and told over the story of Reb Zusha, how he said that when he goes up after 120, he won’t be asked why he wasn’t Moshe Rabbeinu. He’ll be asked why he wasn’t Reb Zusha. Some children are alef students, the Rosh Yeshivah said, and some are daled. Your child won’t be asked why he wasn’t an alef student, because Hashem made everyone exactly as they should be. Every person, every child has their own strengths and struggles.
Don’t try to change them. Just see them, recognize them, and celebrate them.
Recipe Board of Blessings!
Get ready for a yum Pesach!
One of our favorite Pesach snacks is meringues. While we love them all year, for Pesach they are the perfect sweet and light treat that you can enjoy any time.
Here’s what you need:
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 5 egg whites
- Food coloring
Here’s what you need to do:
Preheat oven to 200F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
Place egg whites into a perfectly dry bowl. Mix on high. As you keep mixing, the egg whites will start to get foamy, and then thicken. Keep mixing until stiff peaks form. You can tell when it’s ready by pulling out the beater; if the whites maintain their shape, without moving at all, that means it’s ready. While you want those stiff peaks, you also want to make sure you don’t overmix. As soon as the stiff peaks form, start adding in the sugar, a little bit at a time. Keep mixing as you add it in, and continue to mix until the egg whites become glossy.
Take a piping bag, or gallon Ziploc bag, turn it inside out and either paint or squeeze 4 lines of food coloring, evenly spaced, down the length of the bag. (We did 4 different colors, but you can choose to do all one color.) Flip the bag back right-side in, being careful not to rub the different colors against each other, and fill the bag 3⁄4 of the way with the meringue mixture. Twist the corner of the bag, pushing the mixture into the bottom corner, and cut off the tip. Squeeze out any air to avoid air bubbles. You can now begin piping on your parchment-lined cookie sheets, leaving a small space between each one. Try your best to pipe them about the same size so that they bake evenly. Bake for two hours until the outside is crisp and they easily slide off the parchment paper. Your meringues should be striped and/or rainbow and ready to enjoy! Store them in an airtight container to keep them fresh for longest.
Note: If it’s raining or humid outside, the meringues may remain sticky and never reach that crispy texture.
Baking Tidbit from Bracha & Rachelli’s Kitchen:
This one’s great for Pesach! You know all those recipes that call for a whipped up whipped topping? But who has the patience to take out the mixer, use the attachments, and then wash them?
Pour your whip topping into a water bottle… and shake it! Hard! For a long time. Little kids getting in the way of the Pesach cooking? Hand them the water bottle and tell them to shake it like a grogger.
Perfectly whipped topping plus occupied little ones? Yes and yes!
We always say:
- Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.
- If you really believe in yourself, you’ll see you can do anything. So follow your dreams.
(Originally featured in Teen Pages, Issue 956)
Oops! We could not locate your form.