Working magic on gift baskets
Tim Dean '82
As an LMU student, Tim Dean worked at a couple of local wine shops. When Christmas rolled around, he saw how lucrative the products could be. So, working out of a garage, he crafted some gift baskets for 15 wine shops around Los Angeles and Orange counties.
Today, Tim’s company, Houdini Inc., is the largest supplier of food and wine gift baskets in the country, with more than 10 million sold. “I thought we would be successful, but never this wildly successful. It took a lot of hard work, a lot of lucky breaks, a lot of good people doing their jobs, and we made it here.”
Tim has been Houdini’s president for 27 years, after starting the company with a fellow Alpha Delta Gamma brother. Those LMU ties haven’t faded over time. “We have a lot of LMU and ADG people who started with us and still work here. A big part of our success is sharing the Loyola Marymount experience, being on the same page, and having great friendships.”
Tim is driven by his love for “the puzzle of business” and says his proudest moments occur daily. “It’s every day coming into work. At some points of the year, we have more than 3,000 employees. The daily realization of how big we have built this business together, all the people who work here is special.”