A good invention always starts with a person looking to solve an everyday problem. Debbie Frasca was no stranger to that feeling while watching her son eat an apple. As the sticky juice ran down his hands, she wondered if there was another way to enjoy the popular healthy snack without the unpopular sticky mess. The everyday problem of eliminating the stickiness was solved with the Handy Apple.
We sat down with Debbie and asked her to give us some insight into her invention and what readers can expect from Handy Apple this holiday season.
Tell me a little about you and how you came up with your great invention.
It was a normal day and I was watching my son, Nick, eat an apple, holding it like a softball, and wondered if there was a cleaner way to eat it. I watched the juice run down his hands and saw the frustration on his face. I grabbed some corn holders from my kitchen and stuck them in either side of the apple. He loved it! After that, every time he ate an apple he would ask for those corn holders, so I went to my garage and dug around for some parts. I was able to put together a prototype using molly screws to eliminate the sharp points of the corn holders, and it worked! There was nothing online or in stores similar to what I was doing, so I thought it would be a great invention to patent! This is a family business, which is something I value. My son was my inspiration for the idea, and my daughter Megan, who has a degree in marketing, has been helping me with the marketing and social media issues.
The Handy Apple motto is simply “A fun way to eat a healthy snack” and that is exactly what my product is. It is a convenient, inexpensive, and fun way to eat one of the most popular snacks. It eliminates the sticky mess and need for cutting apples into slices, encourages healthy eating because it’s fun, and it is a healthier alternative to eating with your hands. Apples are a great on the go snack, and sometimes you are unable to wash your hands before you eat one. With the Handy Apple, handling of the actual fruit itself is minimal, so there is less germ contamination. I’ve had doctors in hospitals tell me how great that is!
How are you / will you be marketing your invention to your target customers?
While my target customer is children, there are so many other people who can benefit from this invention. This is the perfect product for the elderly, the disabled, children who struggle with sensory issues- the product really is for anyone who might struggle to eat an apple the traditional way. Right now we are focusing our efforts on E-commerce sales. We just received the product Columbus Day weekend, so we have been sharing it via social medial and bringing it to local stores to stir interest. I’m currently looking into getting involved with “Mommy Bloggers,” who have become very popular recently and look for products to promote that are geared towards kids.
If you could start the inventing process over, what would you do differently? What would you re-do?
My biggest fear is and always was getting scammed by manufacturers or people claiming they want to help promote the product, but then do nothing. I have been pleasantly surprised at how great everyone has been throughout this entire process. From Justin Aiello of Aiello Designs, who helped me start the product, to Vincent LoTempio, my patent attorney- I don’t think I would do anything differently.
Do you have any advice for other inventors?
I would be happy to share any resources with other inventors out there looking to get their patents started, but I think the most important piece of advice I could give is to never give up and follow your dreams.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Handy Apple is the perfect stocking-stuffer for this holiday season. It is under $10 and can be a great gift for children to help create independence when they are snacking. But again, it’s not just for children! Handy Apple is a great and inexpensive kitchen tool to have around or to gift to an elderly family member who really does have everything! It is made from food-grade plastic and is BPA and latex free, so parents can let their children use it without the fear of chemicals. We were recently featured in our local paper, the East Hampton Star, and we are scheduled to be featured on the radio show, My Cool Inventions, on November 30!
The Handy Apple can be purchased on their website here.