Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Pete woman is picked to pitch pudding company's product

Kozy Shack is hoping that if Marilyn Cisek, 78, tells you to buy the company’s pudding, you’ll do as Grandma says.

Kozy Shack

Kozy Shack is hoping that if Marilyn Cisek, 78, tells you to buy the company’s pudding, you’ll do as Grandma says.

Marilyn Cisek has been a teacher. She has worked in real estate. She has even been a "hair model" on HSN.

Now at 78, the St. Petersburg resident has a new career: professional grandma.

Cisek was selected after a nationwide search for a spokes-grandma for Kozy Shack, a pudding company.

She was chosen from several hundred grandmotherly types who auditioned and interviewed for the role as the new face, voice and image of the Minnesota-based company.

Kozy Shack is located in Arden Hills, Minn., near St. Paul. Cisek is a native of St. Paul. Just a coincidence, she says.

After Kozy Shack interviewed her in Orlando in February, she thought someone else had been picked. Then she got the phone call. She was on a plane the next day to Minneapolis where she spent a day of shooting videos and photos for Facebook and upcoming ads. A TV commercial is also planned.

"It was very exciting. It was a lot of fun," Cisek says. "I enjoyed every minute of it."

Why was she selected out of hundreds?

"They wanted an older person. Not an actress. Just somebody who would be a symbol of a grandma. I'm older. I have gray hair. I look like a grandma."

Cisek was already comfortable in front of a camera. For several years, she has been an occasional model for hair products at HSN, silently posing as the product was pitched. Her agent alerted her to the grandma auditions.

"They're doing a campaign now notifying people that the pudding is made of all natural ingredients like rice, eggs, milk, sugar," Cisek says.

"Who better to spread the word about real, wholesome pudding made right than grandma herself," says Andy Braunshausen, marketing director of the pudding company that has two plants in the United States and one in Ireland.

Fortunately, Cisek already has a head start on the grandma thing. She has four children and one grandson, 19. A widow, she still has the cookbook she received as a wedding gift 50 years ago.

Grandmotherisms roll naturally off her tongue: "Today, reading food labels is like reading a foreign language. Whole food is what our bodies enjoy."

Just what your own grandma used to say.

St. Pete woman is picked to pitch pudding company's product 04/17/14 [Last modified: Monday, April 28, 2014 12:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 'Siesta Key' star punched in face, not sure who did it


    TAMPA —Alex Kompothecras, cast member on MTV's reality show "Siesta Key," tells police he was punched in the face outside a bar in Tampa's SoHo district.

    Alex Kompothecras, Juliette Porter, Pauly Apostolides, Madisson Hausburg, Chloe Trautman, Garrett Miller, Kelsey Owens and Brandon Gomes pose for a photo in Siesta Key in June before the debut of the MTV reality series Siesta Key. [
EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  2. Editorial: Senate health care bill would be disastrous for Florida


    The frantic effort by Senate Republicans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with something — anything — ranks raw politics over sound policy and threatens the health care of millions of Floridians. It is a desperate attempt to declare victory by shifting responsibility from the federal government …

    Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks in August in Doral.
  3. Four questions the Lightning still has to answer

    Lightning Strikes

    FORT LAUDERDALE — The Lightning made its biggest round of cuts Monday, with some of the big-named prospects heading out.

    Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos (91) looks on from the bench during a shift change at Lightning hockey training camp in Brandon on Monday (09/18/17). In background on right is Nikita Kucherov (86). DIRK SHADD   |   Times  

  4. Nine Florida football players, 62 felony complaints in fraud scandal


    GAINESVILLE — The fraud scandal that has engulfed the University of Florida's nationally ranked football team for weeks exploded Monday with the first detailed accounts of criminal accusations that threaten to derail the Gators' season.

    Florida Gators wide receiver Antonio Callaway (81) runs the ball during the Outback Bowl in January at Raymond James Stadium. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]
  5. Where Rays shortstop Matt Duffy's lost season leads

    The Heater

    BRADENTON — In a perfect world Matt Duffy would have been in New York on Monday with his Rays teammates enjoying the final off day of the year. Instead, he was on Field 4 at Pirate City on a sweltering afternoon, trying to restart his season.

    Rays shortstop Matt Duffy plays in his first game (since rehab was aborted) with the club's instructional league on Monday at the Pirate City baseball field and spring training complex in Bradenton [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]