WESTPORT, Conn. It was a midlife crisis that ignited the flame in Dina Upton of Westport to create the all-natural bite-sized biscottis that are now sold in more than 30 stores and loved by people all across Fairfield County.
A little more than a year ago Biscotti Bites was just an idea floating around in Uptons head, and now the kitchen she shares with AMG Catering churns them out daily.
I turned 50 and my kids are leaving for college and I guess I wanted to reinvent myself, Upton said. I was always involved with the parent-teacher association, and my children; it was time now to do something for me.
Her friends and family always raved about her biscotti baking skills, so she decided to turn her passion into a business. The Bites Company was born, but in a cramped rented deli space where Upton only had access after 5:30 p.m.
I wouldnt get home until midnight; they only had one oven, I mean, it was tough, she said.
After being there for four months, Upton was able to move into and renovate a space with Professional Caterer Alison Milwe-Grace and her business partner. The kitchen is hidden from the main road but is an unexpected treasure on busy Route 7 in Wilton. It once was home to the Wave Hill Bakery before the business moved to Norwalk, but the kitchen was gutted to suit their needs.
We had to bring in everything and paint it and redesign it, Upton said.
Biscotti Bites are sold in six different flavors, all of which are natural and made from real ingredients: orange, mint, almond, lemon, cocoa and coffee. Recently Mrs. Greens Natural Market and Whole Foods of Westport started carrying the bites and Upton welcomed the success and growth of her small company. Recently she acquired two interns from Staples High School who requested to work for her company.
First I thought, What are they going to do? But they've come in and its been seamless, Upton said.
Now, on the cusp of her companys one-year anniversary, Upton hopes to continue expanding, of course, in bite-size. She plans for all of her future cookies to be the same size as her Biscotti Bites.
Im coming up with other lines and I have two flavors right now that Im really pleased with how they are turning out, she said.
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