When former THR reporter and current Deadline.com contributor Ray Richmond hands out boxes of his Super Accurate Fortune Cookies at a reunion of Los Angeles Daily News staffers in Calabasas on June 9, the inscription on the box will feature a comical reference to the newspaper’s veteran staff writer Rick Orlov. ‘In the end, all that will be left standing are the insects and Orlov,’ the message warns.
The upcoming event will mark the unofficial debut of Richmond’s most unusual new sideline. He’s still applying finishing touches to the website such as credit card ordering, with full product launch set for July.
“I looked at my bank account and I said, ‘Well, it’s not going to get any fatter on this current path of mine,” Richmond tells FishbowlLA via telephone. Along with several stints at the Daily News, Richmond was for years an integral part of The Hollywood Reporter.
“I had been actively thriving as a freelancer since the late ’90s, but because of the disintegration of print, a lot of the work dried up, and I was left having to re-invent myself,” he explains. “I thought, ‘If I’m going to be back in print, I’m going to have to create my own printed words, and that’s where fortune cookies came in.”
“I don’t think this opportunity has ever really been fully tapped as far as the potential for novelty and fun fortunes,” Richmond adds. “You can find sexy, naughty and nasty fortunes and all that, but nothing all that clever really.”
Boxes of $8.99 Super Accurate Fortune Cookies have been designed to cater to events such as weddings, anniversaries and Bar Mitzvahs. In the future, Richmond says he hopes to establish partnerships with restaurants.
The Daily News reunion is an outgrowth of a Facebook page where the chatter can sometimes be rather contentious. As a nod to these event origins, one of the messages in the June 9 party box reads, ‘If you’re bitter and you know it, clap your hands.’ To go along with other journalism-themed winks such as, ”This fortune may have been pulled off the wire.’
Richmond partnered with an Ohio firm for the cookies and took great care to find a supplier that could deliver a product that is both low-cal and far more palatable than typical restaurant fortune fare. He’s also trademarked his product tagline, ‘The Smartest Cookies on Earth.’