Introducing, the "DoughFinis"
Hi. My name is Jay. I’m the lead designer of the DoughFinis and co-founder of Wholly Sheet. Thanks for checking us out!
I studied electrical and biomedical engineering. Late in both programs I experienced a fall from a roof that left me with physical and cognitive injuries. As you can imagine, this put a hold on my engineering career. Prior to this I was an electro-mechanical designer for nearly ten years.
After rehab from the injuries I needed employment and I was considering starting a pizzeria and tapas bar. I also wanted to make croissants for a morning crowd. But when took a baking class it became clear that I didn’t possess the strength to toss a pizza due to fractures in my arms that were still healing. This lead me to research dough sheeters. But my vision was also affected by the fall, and so I couldn’t interpret what I was seeing on gauges or dials well either.
I needed a machine that would make an 18” pizza skin and that had a working dough thickness that would allow me to start the french method of pastry making. Space was an issue as well, so I also wanted something that was attractive enough to be used in front of the customers. I knew what I needed, the problem was that after months of research I also knew that it didn’t exist.
I came to realize that any machine that met most of this description was, and currently is, somewhere around three to four thousand dollars, occupied around seven to eight square feet, and was not something attractive enough to use on the back-bar or behind a customer facing counter. But notice that I said met MOST of this description. The closest offering for that price was painfully slow at producing a pizza skin in a pizzeria context. No sheeter came close to producing a skin as fast as hand tossing could. None. Most importantly, however, I also learned that their was a community of pastry bakers, pizzeria owners and cake decorators who were seeking a device like the one I needed, but at an affordable price - but one simply didn't exist. <b>Despite my condition, I knew that I could solve this problem.</b> It was then that I laid out the basic design of the DoughFinis. After five years of research to include consulting with a 170 person focus group comprised of professional and domestic bakers and cake decorators, I knew what was needed.
Then I met my co founder, Ross Carras. Together we radically rethought a 70 year old design, and finalized the one I had started. In so doing, we corrected many of the failings of the current offerings, while also building in a host of other competencies not found in any single machine. A quick example; ours is a vertical AND reversible unit, taking the counter top concept to the next level. And, we can do this for a price nearly anyone can afford, (that is, if you help us). Moreover, depending on the options, the DoughFinis rivals the speed of hand tossing. BUT, the DoughFinis does this while also accomplishing something hand tossing cannot; it allows you to turn a one pound, chilled, un-proofed, hyper-hydrated high protein dough ball into a 15” skin in under 25 seconds, and that's on a slow day. During testing, with a DC motorized unit, we've accomplished this in well under 20 seconds, consistently. Warm, soft, proofed dough, of course, goes faster. This ability opens up a host of business possibilities not previously realized, and we’ll gladly show you this in future videos.
Currently, Wholly Sheet! can produce DoughFinis in our Northwest facility, but in small numbers that would find us charging prices that only the well heeled could manage. A few of our wooden parts are still cut with a band saw, and then routed, for example. And we've committed to paying living wages. High wages plus lots of construction time equals a high product cost. You get the picture.
<b>How you can help us, to help you, and others...</b>
If you help us, we'll transition to full production, of relatively unlimited numbers because our wood parts will be CNC routed by outside facilities. But we need to meet Minimum Order Quantities (MOQ) in order to do this. Essentially, we need to sell a batch. Finishing and fulfillment would also be taken off of our plate. Our gears and other parts that are currently being cut on a CNC device would be injection molded. As is the case with any manufacturing, when we are able to order in larger quantities our parts cost will drop, and in some cases, literally exponentially. <b>If you buy a DoughFinis, or tell someone who could benefit from our offering, you will have helped us to achieve our goal of making a sorely needed, affordable tool widely available, where there was none before.</b>
While we will sell one to anybody, the DoughFinis was conceived from the start as an affordable small business persons tool. If we’re successful, those folks who need this device to make a living could have one for a minimum outlay. We estimate that the DoughFinis would drop from somewhere around 875.00 for a motorized unit, to a little over 600.00. Our entry level unit, which we jokingly call the “Corolla” (I drive one) would go from 525.00, to around 350.00. Our models are tentatively slated to be called the “Basic” and the “Professional”. The basic unit comes unfinished and un-assembled. It DOES NOT HAVE, a motor kit, clear face plate, shim-stop, front Dough Director (aka, a “dough chute”), or reverse plenum. It comes with rudimentary pan support pins, and may or may not come with the decorative face plate. It is easy to assemble with common tools. Each of the omitted items can be purchased separately as a budget permits, and each was designed to be affordable. Make no mistake however, the basic unit is VERY functional for most tasks with the sole exception of rapid, serial pizza skin production, which is the bailiwick of the dedicated motor kit. The basic unit will still make a beautiful 15” pizza skin, just not as quickly. It also excels at fondant sheeting because of it’s slower speed. Puff pastry is a go with the basic as well. The basic can be powered by your own stand mixer, or cranked by hand. Our motorized units are completely reversible, a first in a counter top, vertical unit. And all of our units accept cutter dies.
If we can sell enough units at crowdfunding to have a surplus, we can return to finishing the design and prototyping of the accessories that we know you are going to love! We promise to stay clear of gimmickry and concentrate on developing TOOLS that will keep the focus squarely on increasing your bottom line.
Thanks for checking us out, and we’ll see you at Indiegogo!
Sincerely, J and Ross