With an emphasis on American desserts and pies made with high-quality ingredients and time-honored baking traditions and techniques, Two Fat Cats prides itself on bringing back home-baked favorites that evoke a memory of the past with a taste of the present. Located on the east side of the Old Port in Portland, Maine, the bakery has developed a solid local customer base and a reputation for beautiful desserts made with high-quality ingredients. In 2018, owners Stacy Begin and Matthew Holbrook expanded to a second location in South Portland.
Our engagement with Two Fat Cats began with positioning and developing the business’s brand story, as well as a thorough reexamination of its wholesale, retail, and ecommerce platforms. The bakery had organically built a loyal following over many years, but after the ownership transition, it was time to reexamine who they were and where they were headed. Like many Portland businesses, they were busy during the summer months and slower in the off-season.
Through interviews with owner Stacy Begin and her team, we determined what made the bakery special to its customers: the cozy, close quarters that make it feel like you are part of the baking process; an unfussy, unpretentious vibe; and the memorable flavors of home-baked goods (also, who are we kidding, the blueberry pie). We helped position Two Fat Cats as a classic New England bakery in a foodie town by focusing on their attention to detail and passed-down recipes made by hand with the best ingredients available.
As a wholesale, retail, and online bakery, Two Fat Cats presented unique challenges from a design perspective. The two “fat cats” in the existing logo were beloved and iconic characters, but the logo itself was unscalable and didn’t translate well on all the bakery’s assets. We gave the cats a light facelift to make them appear a little more welcoming like the bakery itself, and designed new typography inspired by old recipe cards. We chose a color palette that is warm and homey, evoking your grandmother’s kitchen. Working with the iconic yellow exterior wall of their Portland location, the brand palette centers around yellow, deep orange, sage green, and tan. We also created an intricate pattern of hand-drawn illustrations of items you’d find in the bakery: rolling pins, eggs, butter, pie racks, and more.
In addition, we provided art direction and photography to better capture the richness and texture of the baked goods for the online experience, while making it feel like you were right there in the kitchen alongside the bakers.
When we began working with Two Fat Cats, the bakery had two separate websites with multiple brands supporting the business with no tie to one another. Built on old technology, their former ecommerce site had limitations in how it balanced the presentation of their in-store experience and their online ability to deliver nationally. We migrated them off of an aging WordPress WooCommerce ecommerce system to Shopify and implemented a customer-focused site architecture to highlight both their online offerings and their changing daily in-store menu. Another challenge the bakery faced from an ecommerce standpoint was exorbitant and inefficient shipping rates, so we stepped in to implement an improved ecommerce shipping system that leveraged multi-carrier and dynamic dimensional shipping.
One of the most important aspects of the site was the product imagery. Through an artistically detailed and creative photography strategy and shoot we achieved our goal of delivering product photography and a customer experience that looked as good as Two Fat Cats pies taste.
In 2018, Two Fat Cats opened a second location in South Portland. A much different experience than the quirky, tiny bakery in town, this location in a shopping plaza in the owner’s neighborhood is roomier, allows for more seating, and caters to a new audience. We supported the opening by providing art direction and photography of the new space, as well as public relations that involved coordinating a grand opening and ribbon-cutting event that the mayor and local chamber of commerce attended, with a portion of proceeds donated to a local food pantry. A major PR outreach campaign drove awareness by landing Two Fat Cats mentions in about a dozen publications and news outlets.
We took a brand with extremely loyal and longtime customers and helped propel it forward and modernize without abandoning its roots.