Melissa & Doug & The Times Business Section

Melissa and Doug Bernstein do things in a big way.

The Westport couple have a big house. A big family. A big toy company.

Melissa & DougNow that company, also named Melissa & Doug — along with their house and family — is featured in a big story on Page 1 of today’s New York Times business section.

The piece describes the company’s quick rise — in 25 years, they’ve reached an estimated $325 million in revenue — as “an anachronism.”

Matt Richtel writes:

In a time when major corporations dominate the industry, making toys with all manner of batteries, digital gimmicks or movie tie-ins, the Bernsteins keep making money in wooden puzzles, coloring pads, blocks, trains and simple costumes (the police officer, the princess, the pirate). They hatch many of their ideas by watching children at play — often among their own brood of six.

They do little public relations and don’t advertise in magazines, or on radio and television. They don’t put coupons in Sunday newspaper inserts. They don’t rely on big hits, industry analysts say, just a steady stream of variations on classic toys mostly for children up to the age of 5.

It’s an intriguing story, about an interesting company and the Westporters behind it. (Click here to read the entire piece.)

And — in keeping with the “big” theme — a very big photo of Doug, Melissa and 2 of their kids sprawls across the entire top half of the Sunday Business front page.

Doug and Melissa  Bernstein, with 2 of their children: Nate (age 5) and Sydelle (9). (Photo by Christopher Capozziello/New York Times)

Doug and Melissa Bernstein, with 2 of their children: Nate (age 5) and Sydelle (9). (Photo by Christopher Capozziello/New York Times)

5 responses to “Melissa & Doug & The Times Business Section

  1. Wendy Stahl

    Irony- yesterday while out shopping in Westport, a stranger stopped me and another person to ask where in town they could buy Melissa/Doug products. Neither of us had a good answer… Anyone know?

    • Mark Mathias

      Learning Express near Olympia Sports and CVS carries Melissa & Doug products, as does The Age of Reason on the Post Road just West of the Saugatuck River.

  2. jebby40@aol.com

    Now that was cool. Nice job

    Sent from my iPhone

  3. Fred Cantor

    The company is a wonderful success story.

  4. I knew them when they first started the business out of their garage in their home in Newtown.
    I brought Thanksgiving dinner for their family extended while they were busy unpacking and shipping their wooden puzzle orders around the country.
    At that time their only child was a baby; I catered his Bris.
    Doug’s father was the principal at Redding Elementary School where my 2 kids were.
    He told me on one of those Thanksgiving morning deliveries that Doug got $15K prize for a film he did in college (at U-conn?) He invested the whole in some obscure wooden puzzle company in China. (what kid would do that? I’d have bought a better car!) The rest is amazing good luck, better business, and great history! Mazel tov Doug and Melissa!!