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“Cool Companies” is a monthly feature where we recount the odd beginnings, interesting permutations, or otherwise unique and noteworthy circumstances of a toy or hobby manufacturer. If you think you know of a Cool Company that you’d like to see featured here, please contact timothyd@toydirectory.com.

The Adventures of Brainy Baby and Small Fry
By Timothy Dickey
October 1, 2002



Small Fry Productions®




The time is 1995 and America is in a good mood as the economy surges with fuel from the tech sector. On the other hand, Kathie Lee Gifford is feeling the heat of sweatshop allegations, fewer than 18% of homes have Internet access, and R&B musicians TLC are heartily advising against waterfall chasing.

Meanwhile, in Georgia…a film producer who has helped create corporate videos for Coca Cola, Delta and Saab is working on an enterprising new concept: educational videos for very young children. Necessity is usually the mother of invention, but in this case perhaps Stephanie Fedoruk, herself mother of two boys, shares the billing.


Small Fry Actress

The scene opens as the Fedoruk family decides to home-school their children. From the start they’re disappointed that they can’t find quality educational videos for sale. So husband Dennis, the video producer, decides to take matters into his own hands. After receiving counsel and data from nationally-recognized early-childhood educators, Small Fry Productions® is born.

Since then Fedoruk’s company has produced a comprehensive line of not only educational, but entertaining videos, winning 40 national awards and the genuine thanks and praise of parents everywhere. In a testimonial from the Small Fry website, Rosemary Isbel said, “I have a son who is four and I can honestly say your videos have taught him his letters, numbers and now he’s on to opposites. My son has a bit of a learning problem. Your videos have great visual, bright colors and are not too wordy. Thank you and keep up the good work.”

Numbers, Shapes and Alpharetta

Small Fry Productions and its sister company The Brainy Baby Company® have created a variety of educational videos for children ranging from six months to five years of age. The company stresses that their tapes are more than just a medley of fun and happy images; they actually teach early concepts like numbers, letters and shapes. Some titles even specialize in topics like Sign Language and Japanese, German and French.

Fedoruk operates with a staff of ten out of Alpharetta, Georgia, a community of 35,000 not far from Atlanta. Happily, Alpharetta is adjacent to the largest fiber-linked network in the United States, and not far from Atlanta’s International airport. Competing with the other four or five educational video brands on a national level has not proved difficult due to hard work and the high quality of Small Fry and Brainy Baby Products.

“It takes a lot of patience and a long-term approach,” says Fedoruk. “It takes dedication to the business and a passion to help children learn.” All the same, he and the company have established what is now a large market presence and reach, and boast solid relationships with distributors, retailers, catalog companies and e-tailers. (Cont.)

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If you want to read a related article, check out our section on Educational Toys:
Toys, Technology and the Brave New World.





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