Woodstock’s Ania Gifford had encountered a common problem in the kitchen so often she just knew it needed a solution.
When she couldn’t find the answer anywhere, she decided to solve it herself.
Gifford is the inventor of the Egg Stripper, a handheld device which peels hardboiled eggs. The product recently was featured on the Home Shopping Network, where 3,000 units sold for $19.95 in just minutes.
“We’re solving a problem for everyone out there,” said Gifford, who was called upon by HSN to demonstrate her product on “The Monday Night Show.”
Gifford previously owned Grandma’s Gourmet Deli, a former restaurant on Route 47 in Woodstock which featured specialties from her native Poland. She said she frequently struggled with peeling hardboiled eggs at the deli before learning large food companies sold pre-peeled eggs. Her husband, Randy Gifford, did some research to find out how these companies were able to peel eggs on an industrial scale.
The result of their hard work — which took place over the course of two years and involved multiple prototypes, several engineers and about 4,000 eggs, not to mention pitches to HSN — is the Egg Stripper, a plastic, egg-shaped device outfitted with tiny nodules that help loosen shells without damaging the white. Users place up to five eggs into the Egg Stripper, add a little water and shake it briefly. The shells come off quickly and easily.
The success of the product has led Ania Gifford to work toward selling the product in retail outlets and online, too. She’s even created a company with her husband, Grania Products, which will produce other clever kitchen contraptions.
“That’s the plan, to make simple solutions for everybody,” Ania Gifford said.
The Egg Stripper sold so well when it premiered on television that HSN placed another order and asked Ania Gifford to come back to present on New Year’s Day. She said she was reticent at first to go on television — the show is broadcast live, after all, and she had no experience in front of a camera — but now, she’s happy she did.
“The experience that I went through, I cannot tell you,” Ania Gifford said. “When I finally left [the studio] with all this emotion, I got in the car, and I said, ‘What just happened?’ I said regardless of which way the Egg Stripper will go, to go through an experience like this? One of a kind.”