800Dessert.com, today announced the launch of its comprehensive dessert portal delivering the widest variety of top-quality desserts from award-winning food manufacturers nationwide.

A consumer can log onto http://www.800Dessert.com or call the toll free number 1-800-DESSERT (1-800-337-7378) and order from an extensive catalogue of desserts including pies, tarts, chocolates, cookies and confections as well as fruits, nuts, jams, toppings kits and gift baskets directly from the manufacturer to the consumer.

"The gourmet dessert industry is a cottage industry of mom and pop bakeries where some of the owners are still baking the desserts themselves," said Scott Bernstein, President of 800Dessert.com. "Our goal is to identify the top-end, handmade dessert manufacturers and deliver their product to the consumer using the simplified one stop convenience of the 800Dessert.com website."

The company has already partnered with more than 40 high-end dessert manufacturers including Carolyn's Gourmet, Umanoff and Parsons, Mrs. Weinstein's Toffee, Bittersweet Pastries, Davidson's Teas, and Peerless Coffee Company. They expect to aggregate over 100 vendors by Fall 2000.

"Many of these vendors are entering e-commerce for the first time," said Bernstein. "We offer these vendors a platform to conduct e-commerce and receive national exposure as well as reap the benefits of our advertising and promotion campaigns."

Driven by an increase of widely-traveled, Epicurean consumers, specialty food sales are soaring. The Gartner Group reports that figures could reach $47.6 billion by year end. Meanwhile, Forrester Research projects specialty food and beverage sales on the Web to skyrocket from $250 million in 1999 to $6 billion in 2003.

800Dessert.com has instituted Dessert Dollars, an exclusive program providing members with substantial savings on most 800Dessert.com products. Consumers can earn 20 Dessert Dollars just for registering as a Dessert Club member. Additional Dessert Dollars can be accumulated through frequent shopping, signing up for monthly promotions and by referring friends and family to the site.

A former Hard Rock Cafe marketing director, Bernstein brings a great passion for good food to this venture. "Food is not only sustenance," says Bernstein, "but a part of tradition, religion, and celebration. It is our goal to bring a smile to people's faces with every purchase."