DHL (Plantation, Fla.) is teaming with Randazzo's Camellia City Bakery to distribute world-famous New Orleans' King Cakes nationwide. Following devastation from Hurricane Katrina, the popular New Orleans-based business has recently re-opened its doors and partnered with DHL in a special program to bring a taste of home to displaced New Orleanians and residents, alike, in time for this year's Mardi Gras season.
The King Cake is emblematic of the Mardi Gras traditions of Southern hospitality and generosity of spirit. With a tiny toy baby baked inside, the person whose piece of cake contains the baby provides the King Cake for the next party. "DHL has been integral to our efforts to rebuild our bakery and get us back on our feet," says Tricia Zornes, owner of Randazzo's. "Continuing local traditions like Mardi Gras helps revitalize the New Orleans economy, improves morale, and shows the world that we can rebuild and re-establish the culture that has made New Orleans special."
To celebrate Randazzo's Camellia City Bakery reopening and promote its Mardi Gras traditions, DHL developed a festive, co-branded shipping box, specially designed to open from the top to protect the oval-shaped delicacy. Local New Orleans customers, as well as Mardi Gras celebrants throughout America, will be able to order the special cakes via www.kingcakes.com or toll free at 800-684-2253. All orders will be shipped directly to customers via DHL express or ground delivery service.
With Mardi Gras running through February, Randazzo's bakery hopes to ship as many as 25,000 King Cakes nationwide. "This collaboration with DHL has special meaning for us since losing one of our two locations," Zornes explains, "as our local DHL representative provided valuable support throughout the process of rebuilding our remaining shop." According to Zornes, DHL's local sales representative contributed his time and effort to the business where nearly everything was lost, from the valuable baking equipment to the building itself. "In addition to helping us create a new distribution process, he went beyond the call of duty to help paint, or do any odd jobs that would help us get up and running quickly."
In addition to special packaging provided for the King Cakes, DHL has automated the shipping process, integrating the DHL EasyShip processing system with Randazzo's website order system for quick, automatic processing of customer orders. DHL is also providing special operational handling of shipments, transporting the King Cakes via a dedicated tractor-trailer directly to New Orleans International Airport.
"Although many in the area are less optimistic about business success this Mardi Gras season, with DHL's help and commitment to our small business we hope to sustain 80% of our sales," adds Zornes. Randazzo's has received orders from displaced people as far as Rhode Island and Washington State who want a taste of home this Mardi Gras.