Dealership Spotlight: Big Sky Fundraising

on June 19, 2020

June is here and so is this month’s “Dealership Spotlight.” The dealership featured this month is one of our newest dealerships, having joined the Butter Braid® family in 2017. Big Sky Fundraising is owned by Chris and Joy Skovira. The Skoviras put a lot of heart into their fundraisers because they care so much about the causes and groups they serve, and that extra care is why groups love to work with them.


Chris and Joy have 3 children. Over the years their children have been involved in many extracurricular activities which means the Skoviras participated in plenty of fundraisers to help support their children. The family quickly got familiar with most kinds of fundraising products, but no product ever really “wowed” them. Until one year when Joy bought two Butter Braid pastries from a coworker selling them for her granddaughter. Chris and Joy tried their first Butter Braid pastry on Christmas Day 2016. They instantly fell in love with the taste and quality of the product. To this day, Chris says it was the greatest Christmas present he ever received.

The Skoviras opened their dealership a short time later in Hot Springs, Virginia. Chris had plenty of experience owning his own business as his family owned several different businesses throughout the years. His family always built their businesses on a foundation of great customer service, and that is what set them apart from everyone else. Chris built his dealership on that same foundation. His devotion to his customers is why they keep coming back to him and his business every year.

Fundraising Groups

Chris and Joy love hearing how well groups have done with their fundraising program. They’ve helped raise money for Disney band trips, the Alzheimer’s Walk, mission trips, Operation Christmas Child, and more. In the 2 ½ years they’ve been working with these groups, they’ve helped raise over $125,000.

Big Sky Fundraising’s customers rave about their experience with Chris and his team. Chef Sandra H., a culinary arts teacher at Buckingham CTE Central, said, “Butter Braid pastry fundraising through Big Sky Fundraising has been a wonderful experience! Butter Braid pastries are an excellent product. Plus the customer service and attention to detail provided by Chris and his team is exceptional. I will continue to use Butter Braid pastries as our primary fundraising effort and recommend it to my colleagues.” Ann S., an employee at a local learning center, wrote, “The Skoviras are efficient, helpful, and accommodating in every way, doing most of the work for us!”

The Butter Braid brand is glad Big Sky Fundraising is part of the family. The Skoviras and their team are a caring group of people who are devoted to helping others raise money for their great causes. If you live on the western border of Virginia or in Charlottesville or Harrisonburg, Big Sky Fundraising is there to help you will all your fundraising needs.

Connect with Big Sky Fundraising today!




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Check out our Dealership Spotlight feature on High Profit Fundraising.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About the Butter Braid® Brand

on June 5, 2020

Many of you are loyal Butter Braid® pastry fans. You’ve been following the company and the founding family since the very beginning, so you know a lot about the brand. You know that the company was started in the small, farming community of West Bend, Iowa. Also, that it was started by Ken and Marlene Banwart. You know that each of our pastries are braided by hand with love. And you know that, together with our Dealer Network, we’ve helped raise over $245 million for thousands of great causes. But there are still some facts about the Butter Braid brand that maybe even our most dedicated customers don’t know.

  1. Butter Braid pastries were featured on 2 TV shows

The Butter Braid brand and their parent company, Country Maid, Inc., were on an episode of How It’s Made in 2014 and Manufacturing Marvels in 2015. The episodes showcase the unique production process in manufacturing Butter Braid pastries. You can find the segments on the Country Maid website:

  1. The previous 3 Butter Braid pastry manufacturing locations are the names of our conference rooms

Butter Braid pastries weren’t always made in the high-tech manufacturing facility they are today. Ken and Marlene first started producing the pastries in the basement of their family home in 1991. Once the business outgrew the basement, the Banwart family renovated their two-car garage, and it became the new production area. By the end of 1992, the business was moved to a renovated building in town called the “Hatchery.” A few years later, the business would move one final time to its current location. But, to remember where we came from, we named each of our conference rooms after the previous three Butter Braid pastry manufacturing locations: the “Basement,” the “Garage,” and the “Hatchery.”

  1. Butter Braid pastries didn’t originally have a filling

It’s true. The first pastries Ken and Marlene sold at the local farmer’s market didn’t have any filling. After the Banwarts started selling and marketing the pastries on a larger scale in 1991, Ken came up with the idea to add the sweet, fruit flavors that you love to the pastries.

  1. Our pastries were sold in over 50 retail stores until 2002

When Ken and Marlene initially started the business in 1991, they sold their pastries to local grocery stores. By 1992, their pastries were in more than 50 stores all over the state of Iowa. In 2002, the pastries become a “fundraising only” product in order to support schools and organizations across the country and to fulfill the Butter Braid brand mission of “sharing the good.”

  1. Our most popular flavors? Cinnamon and Strawberry & Cream Cheese

For the past few years, Cinnamon has been the overwhelming crowd favorite. With its thick, gooey cinnamon filling inside layers of buttery, flaky dough, it’s no wonder people love this pastry. However, lately Strawberry & Cream Cheese has overtaken our Cinnamon pastry by a slim margin. The perfect balance of tangy cream cheese and sweet strawberries nestled in layers of buttery dough is what makes Strawberry & Cream Cheese a best seller! Whatever your favorite flavor, get yours at a fundraiser near you! Just enter your zip code and get in contact with your local Butter Braid pastry dealer here:

We hope you enjoyed learning some new facts about the Butter Braid brand. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on all the latest Butter Braid fundraising news and events.

Looking for more sweet ideas?
Head over to our Pinterest page for inspiring ideas using Butter Braid brand products.

Want more fundraising tips?
Check out our post on How Kids Benefit from Fundraising!