The Furlough Cheesecake 

Innovative folding cooler featuring DuraTherm® high-performance thermal insulation.

From humble beginnings in trying times, The Furlough Cheesecake is an all-American success story. In December of 2018, two sisters working for separate federal agencies, suddenly both found themselves furloughed during what would turn out to be the longest United States federal government shutdown in history. Without a paycheck and no idea how long the shutdown would last, on New Year’s Day while the sisters were enjoying some homemade cheesecake with their mother, the idea to sell the delicious treat became the conversation.

Launching their business organically, at no cost meant taking to social media, where the two sisters were quickly able to establish a presence among relatives and friends. Within a week, The Furlough Cheesecake had already received hundreds of orders. Within two weeks of starting their business, they were receiving national media attention from the likes of CNN and The Washington Post. When the sisters were featured on Ellen, The Furlough Cheesecake went fully viral. By 30 days, they were producing more than 75 cheesecakes a day. They had more than 700 orders waiting to be shipped as the shutdown finally ended after 35 days. Of course, they never looked back.

Atlas Molded Products joins The Furlough Cheesecake as a proud partner to a young, growing enterprise with a delicious and delicate payload. The Furlough Cheesecake is now being shipped in Atlas’ dynamic new packaging product, The DuraTherm® Fold Flat™, cooler. Combining Atlas’ industry-leading DuraTherm® coolers with a patented process for molding a durable hinged polystyrene cooler, DuraTherm® Fold Flat™ easily folds flat for transportation, storage, and reuse to revolutionize portable, temperature-controlled shipping solutions.

The Challenge

Given their experience as federal employees, when the business blossomed overnight, the sisters understood that one of the first challenges was a matter of logistics. With dozens and dozens of cheesecakes being made and shipped across the United States every day within just a few weeks of taking a bite into business, they turned to the U.S. Postal Service.

As a commodity, The Furlough Cheesecake has several shipping considerations. First, is the size of the cake, which aligns with the USPS’ Priority Mail Box 7, a standardized, off-the-shelf item available at every post office. Second, it needs protection from the bumps and bruises of damage incurred during transit. The cheesecakes are shipped frozen and can withstand a gradual defrosting process in route to the recipient, so they also benefit from thermal protection.

As a start-up business with a to-scale operations budget, The Furlough Cheesecake needed a solution that was cost-effective, durable, and reusable. Finally, as a micro-business, they did not have a lot of room for excessive packaging materials. As many businesses do, The Furlough Cheesecake needed to forge relationships with production partners who could grow with their interests.

The Solution

Atlas Molded Products proudly announced the game-changing, DuraTherm® Fold Flat™ cooler, in late 2019. DuraTherm® Fold Flat’s innovative interlocking hinge allows a complete thermal seal without tape or film in a box that takes up to 61 percent less space when folded flat. It is already sized to fit perfectly into a USPS’ Priority Mail Box 7. DuraTherm® Fold Flat™ responds to product manufacturers scaling up to leverage direct-to-consumer distribution opportunities across a wide spectrum of industries including food and beverage, weekly produce, pharmaceuticals, life sciences, and other temperature-sensitive commodities.

Combining DuraTherm’s high-performance thermal insulation capacity with DuraTherm® Fold Flat’s patented process for molding a durable hinged polystyrene cooler, this packaging product revolutionizes portable, temperature-controlled shipping and packaging solutions for a wide range of industries. Though Atlas is the largest manufacturer of molded polystyrene products in North America, we also greatly value mutual, win-win partnerships with businesses like The Furlough Cheesecake. Launching the DuraTherm® Fold Flat™ cooler was a long and thoughtful process. Working with a growing business like The Furlough Cheesecake allows Atlas to maximize production performance in a small batch process to refine the flow.

Success comes in all shapes and sizes. Atlas Molded Products is proud to partner with overnight sensations like The Furlough Cheesecake and industry-leading companies with generations of experience to mold our products and solutions around their needs and expectations for a perfect fit. The DuraTherm® Fold Flat™ line now reaches the market as a lightweight, collapsible, recyclable unit produced in a singular molding process that offers the highest insulation value and does not require additional secondary operations. Atlas can support large-scale DuraTherm® Fold Flat™ production partnerships from any of our North American custom molding facilities. Grow with us.

The Furlough Cheescake