Behind the Scenes: Winter Wonderland Advent Calenders October 28 2020, 0 CommentsThis year we decided to introduce a new way to enjoy brittle - in advent calendar form! We've been busy at work for over a month preparing these beauties for all of you, and we hope you enjoy seeing some behind the scenes content!
Our Actions Towards COVID-19 July 28 2020, 0 Comments
This time can be confusing for everyone, as most people have never experienced a global pandemic, but don’t worry - we're adjusting just like you!
We pride ourselves on the cleanliness of our company but we have taken even more precautions during this time:
- We have created new and improved cleaning checklists to ensure that our workspaces are cleaned at the end of the day and ready for work the next day.
- Our amazing staff has been given face masks and shields for everyone’s protection.
- After any customer visits our store, all door handles and frequently touched objects are washed and sanitized in preparation for the next guest.
- We rearranged our workplace to limit contact between our workers and any other foot traffic.
If you do decide to come visit the store (which we really hope you do!), we do ask that you follow a few rules:
- 1 person allowed in the store at a time
- Additional people must wait outside until the previous customer in the store leaves
- Masks are mandatory
We're all going to get through this together!
History of Peanut Brittle June 23 2020, 0 Comments
Now, even though today is not national peanut brittle day (which is January 26th if you didn’t know!) I still want to share the history of peanut brittle.
Peanut brittle was said to have been created by a woman in the south, who was making taffy, but then accidentally added baking soda instead of cream of tartar - which in the end left her with a crunchy hard candy... peanut brittle! Talk about happy accidents!
Peanut brittle is generally considered an American recipe and began appearing in cookbooks in the 1960’s. Traditionally peanut brittle is made with peanuts (obviously) but in some places they use other types of nuts, like in the Middle East they use pistachios in their brittle and in Asia they mix in sesame seeds with the peanuts.
There is also an American folktale that puts a different spin on the creation of peanut brittle, and it all starts with a lumberjack named Tony Beaver who saved his village. Tony lived in the mountains in the 19th century where you had to be creative and rugged in order to survive - categories in which Tony excelled greatly in. He operated a mining camp and stockpiled jumbo sized peanuts- and because Tony was a giant they were the perfect size for him but they were much too big for the rest of the villagers; so he was stumped as to what he was going to do with them. Then it rained for multiple days and the river began to rise and was going to flood and it was going to destroy the village. So Tony came up with an idea to save the village; he dumped the jumbo sized peanuts and molasses into the river which formed a thick brown mass and when it hardened it stopped the water from rising. Even though he stopped the flood he was still left with a problem; the place where the villagers got water was now blocked because of his creation. So Tony broke off a piece of the hardened mass and realized it tasted amazing- he gave some to the villagers and they all agreed. Tony had unknowingly created peanut brittle!
Introduction of the New Social Media Manager! May 14 2020, 0 Comments
Hello, my name is Lacie and I'm going to be blogging for Sweetsmith!
First let me tell you a little about myself... I have been working for Sweetsmith for just over a year now and it has been a blast! I first discovered Sweetsmith at a local farmers market in Strathmore. I would always go visit Vicki and sample the Vanilla Birthday Cake brittle. I begged Vicki for so long for a job there, and I finally got it!
I've had so much fun working here and all my coworkers make it even more fun. Because of Sweetsmith I even got to go to Atlanta, Georgia in January for a buyers market and that was such a cool experience! Plus I got to avoid a -35 degree week and actually got to see blue sky and sun in January (which is very rare to see here at home). I am very excited to get to write for this blog and I hope you enjoy reading it!
Also, check out my favourite brittle, Aztec Cocoa!
April 2020 - Updates, New Things, and Special Offers! April 23 2020, 0 Comments
Everyone at Sweetsmith Candy Co hopes you have been staying safe!
It's been a long time since we've written a blog post! And while it may seem out of the blue, but at the start of 2020 we wanted to implement at least one blog post a month. However, the world was hit with COVID-19 and things were put on the back-burner.
However, here we are - hopefully to new beginnings! We will try to publish our newsletter on the last Wednesday of every month starting in May.
So... let's get started with this long post!
This Blog's Content:
- Special Offers!
- New Things At Sweetsmith!
- COVID-19: What We Are Doing At Sweetsmith?
- Our Spring Sale ends April 30, 2020!
- 20% off EVERYTHING in our online shop!
- Free shipping across USA&Canada when you use the code SpringSale2020 on orders above $40
- Calgary - Free no-contact delivery!
- Strathmore - Free curb-side pick up!
- We have limited edition Sugar Free Chai Peanut Brittle and Sugar Free Espresso Brittle in bulk! Hurry before it's gone!
- We also have lots of extra crumb sized pieces for Sea Salt Chocolatey Peanut Brittle - perfect for your creativity!
- BATTLE OF THE FLAVOURS! Vote in this poll, and the winning flavour will get a 25% discount code applicable between May 1st to May 4th!
New Things At Sweetsmith!
- We re-introduced our digital gift cards!
- Bulk prices have gone down $5!
(A pound of bulk is 58.8% cheaper than buying a pound of bars! And majority of our bulk is from "imperfect" pieces that we can't sell as bars - so you're helping us reduce food waste!
- Bulk is now available for wholesale, for any of you that own a business!
- New hashtag! #creativewithsweetsmith - a place for all of you to post your creations with our bars and bulk. Some things we've seen:
- Add it to your tea, hot chocolate, or coffee!
- Ice-cream toppers!
- Baking replacements! Check out these cookies made from our English Toffee - 10% of profits will go to Leftovers!
- Monthly newsletter and blog post, and more social media presence, all by a new author! She'll introduce herself when she is able to come back to work again! :)
- We are testing out our points and referral program again.
- 5 points for every dollar spent
- 200 points ($2) for signing up, and 100 points ($1) on your birthday
- You get $5 for every successful referral, they get 20% off their purchase!
- Sounds good? Sign-up here.
COVID-19: What Are We Doing At Sweetsmith?
- Our storefront is closed for the time being, and our hours have been reduced to 8am to 3pm, Monday to Thursday.
- Our staff has diminished from ten down to three, and they are all in separate areas of our facility. Although we severely miss our fellow coworkers, we still are doing our best to keep a smile on our faces!
- We have always had a high standard for cleanliness and sanitization, but we are doubling down to make sure that anything that any two people will come in contact with are constantly cleansed.
- Anything received is immediately sanitized, or with cases like cardboard, we do not touch for at least three days.
- If anyone is to get any symptoms, they must stay home and we will all quarantine for two weeks.
How it started... April 18 2015, 0 Comments
I'm new to this blog thing, but here goes... It has been an exciting couple of years selling candy in the lovely city of #yyc and surrounding areas- but what most people don't know is how this whole thing started!
In September 2008, my family moved from the beautiful, lusciously green town (now city!!) of Spruce Grove, AB to hot, brown, dry Arizona (Phoenix area). Of course, I had to join my family because I was a teenager, still living at home finishing High School; otherwise I would have stayed! I had a great job at a photography studio in Edmonton, in the post-processing department. (They hired me at age 14, I was self-taught in photoshop already and I loved photo editing! It was my dream job at the time, and it broke my heart to have to leave)
As many people know, 2008 was the year that marked the beginning of the 'recession' in the USA. Because of the sluggish economy, jobs were hard to come by, and often my mom warned that we may end up homeless if a miracle didn't happen.
I'll spare you all the stressful details, because in the end it all worked out! My grandma and grandpa came to visit us for a holiday at the end of 2008; and my dad asked my mom if she had any peanuts to make fresh peanut brittle for my 'Nana' and 'Poppy', as we call them.
Amazingly enough, my mom actually had saved some peanuts that we had in Spruce Grove, and moved them with us all the way to Arizona!
I'll never forget it- I hadn't eaten our family recipe Peanut Brittle for over a year and the sight and smell of the fresh Peanut Brittle sitting on the counter was so wonderful! We didn't have money for treats, so it was a very special day.
My Nana, noticing our struggles, asked my mom if she had ever tried to sell the peanut brittle to local businesses to help pay the bills. My mom was astounded at the idea, and with the small amount of peanuts we had left, from Spruce Grove, we started a fledgling candy business in the middle of the recession.
People warned us: "No one will buy peanut brittle in Arizona if it isn't cold out", "It's too hot to sell candy here!" "You are wasting your time trying to sell candy in the summer! Its a Christmas dessert!" and much more...
Despite all the 'naysayers' we went ahead and started selling candy at our local church and a couple Farmer's markets to start.
It was a hit! We paid the rent! We weren't homeless! (I am very familiar with food banks and charitable institutions though; I am very grateful to all the people who helped us through those very tough times. It taught me the value of allowing others to help you. I don't remember ever going to the food bank without volunteering for a few hours- at my dad's insistence- and it was a great experience!)
A friend of my mom owned a restaurant and offered to let us use her kitchen at night so we could start a legitimate business! Without her, I don't know what we would have done, because we could not afford to rent a kitchen. If you are ever in Avondale, Arizona, check out "Flavors of Louisiana" I recommend the fried catfish "Po' Boy" sandwich or the "Shrimp Ettoufe". http://www.flavorsoflouisianacajun.com/
We started to sell at 3 different farmer's markets on the weekends, and festivals whenever we could. My dad was working on growing his business at the same time, and still helped out whenever possible.
To be very very honest- my 16 year-old self was frustrated that I had to work so hard to help pay bills, when I should be 'having fun' and 'being a kid' My mom felt awful for needing my help so much, and I didn't have the heart to protest, because it would have made her feel worse.
Somewhere along the line, after a full summer of markets probably, I realized I actually enjoyed the work. I loved making the candy with my mom, it gave us great quality time, I loved sampling the candy to customers and seeing their reactions, I loved being involved in a business and crunching numbers to ascertain exactly how much candy we needed to bring for each event- and most importantly; I also loved eating the candy.
Before long, I realized I couldn't imagine doing anything else and began planning my future around having my very own candy business as soon as I could move back to Alberta... home....