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BonBonBar 2010 Holiday Newsletter… Blogged

Saturday, February 6th, 2010
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Happy Holidays!  Even though I have been quiet on the newsletter front, it has been busy at BonBonBar.

The most exciting news is that I have been hard at work writing a cookbook! It is called Beautiful Candymaking, and it is due out in the Fall of 2011 through Sterling Publishing.  The book will feature my take on a wide range of candy recipes — from toffee to fudge to caramel corn — along with candymaking tips/techniques and gorgeous photography courtesy of The White on Rice Couple.

After developing so many recipes for the book, I thought that it would be a good idea to recharge and seek new inspiration for the company’s confections.  So, BonBonBar will be closed from December 23 to February 1 as I eat my way around France, Italy, Brazil, and California.  I am looking forward to returning with refreshed ideas for new products, but it most likely also means that, unfortunately, some candies will be rotated out in the new year.

As always, thank you so much for your support and enthusiasm.  Happy customers have always been my favorite part of this BonBonBar adventure, and you have given me the amazing opportunity to run a truly artisan food company that will be going into its fourth year. I am grateful, and lucky.

All the best for a happy and sweet holiday season, and I hope that BonBonBar treats will be a part of it!

Thank  you!


Founder & Chief Chocolatier,BonBonBar


So far, our candy bars are being featured in Fine Cooking, DailyCandy, and The Huffington Post’s 2010 holiday gift guides.

If you would like to place your holiday orders in advance of when you would like them to ship, please let us know in the comments of the order.

All orders placed during the break will ship after February 1.

Coming Soon: NorCal BonBonBar!

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

I’ll post more soon, but thought I’d let you all know that, if all goes well, BonBonBar will be up and running in time for Halloween treats!  The Pumpkin Pie Bar will be back, along with new Coffee Candy Bar and Ginger Candy Bar…

Pumpkin Pie Bar: Pumpkin Caramel & Graham Cracker enrobed in Dark Chocolate

Camp San Francisco

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

A trailhead across from the front door was too much for me to resist when I was looking at the Presidio apartment that I now live in.  Where does it go, I wondered?   Where doesn’t it go? Every time I go for a walk in the Presidio, I discover something new and surprising in this unique corner of San Francisco.  For the first week, it felt like camp, or a college campus without the college.  It’s a place that I would normally think about driving to, so it feels a little peculiar to step right into it from my home.  Even my backyard is bordered by forest, but then, the city is right around the corner, too.

The Presidio used to be a military base until it was developed for civilian use.  Throughout the park, there are clusters of residences in addition to some businesses, from George Lucas’s companies to a bowling center.  And it’s federal land, which means that crime is in federal jurisdiction… which means that there is no crime, as far as I can tell.

Most of it is pretty open, with windy paths and roads and buildings….


But there are trails to hike with varied foliage and views.  There’s the occasional coyote, too, though I have yet to see one.

What gets me every time is that when you follow the natural descent of the land through the park, you find yourself on the waterfront with a wide open sky.  I never thought that the Golden Gate Bridge would be such a looming part of my life… in all its states of fog.

I walked across the bridge one morning, but it was so loud from all the cars that I’m not sure if I’ll do it again.  But Crissy Field is lovely, and the walk on the path along the water to the bridge, or in the other direction, towards the Marina, is very nice, with a healthy traffic of bicyclists, runners, dogs, and baby carriages.

And the beach along the water…

And green art…

If you walk towards Fisherman’s Wharf (or better, the Ferry Building), you come across the Palace of Fine Arts, a monument that I’d managed to not know about before, but one whose idiosyncratic existence strikes me as wonderful.

I also think that it’s wonderful that a family of 4 figured out how to have a thoroughly civilized lunch at a table in the middle of the dome.  Too bad they’re all but hidden in the shadow in my picture, but I’m posting it anyway, because as I have a feeling they would say, well, why not?

I’m still figuring out my food options around here– the Presidio has little, but the Marina and Cow Hollow and beyond are full of places to eat and buy food — but I think that my most satisfying prepared find so far is Bakesale Betty, which is in Oakland.  I went to try a dessert, but when I saw what looked like foot-high Fried Chicken Sandwiches being assembled, I had to get one.  Juicy and crunchy and little spicy… and I’d recommend doing away with the bread (although it’s perfectly fine in its soft, voluminous way) and eating each of the two chicken breast pieces cut side up/batter side down with some coleslaw balanced on top for a fried chicken experience to remember.

Sweet San Francisco

Friday, August 28th, 2009

In a few days, I’ll be driving up to take up my new residence in San Francisco, and relocating Sweet Napa for the second time.

So… why am I moving?   I think that the short answer is:  as much as I’ve tried, I can’t conceive of a future for myself in LA.  I think that BonBonBar as it is would best flourish as a storefront supplemented with web orders, but the thought of anchoring myself to a storefront in LA and driving through LA traffic to get there every day depressed me more than it excited me.  I was able to work practically non-stop on BonBonBar because there was little else I wanted to do in LA — or at least, little else I wanted to do that would justify so much time in traffic and smog.  And after Chad and I broke up in June, it seemed like a good time to call a hiatus and choose a new place to live.  It was tempting to stay through the holidays given that this year has been so busy so far, but then Valentine’s Day would be right around the corner, and then Easter, and then… and then… another year would go by in limbo.  Once I started to think about how nice — how pretty normal — it would be to reside in a place where I would think about living rather than leaving, it was hard to stop.

I kept telling people that “I just don’t want to live in a big city anymore.”  I went to Google Maps quite a few times just to zoom out on a map of the US.  I could live anywhere I wanted.  Anywhere!  I tried to imagine what life would be like here or there.  I considered new places and familiar places.  I thought a lot about Montana (Bozeman!).  And Wyoming. And giving in to my perpetual whim to live in a cabin in Maine. I thought about flying back up to Seattle for the second time ever to check it out more in depth.  Or maybe New York or New Jersey, to be closer to my family.

I actually flew to the Rockies to scout out Utah and Colorado ski areas.  I particularly loved the beauty of Aspen, but I thought that my wintertime ski antics would be cramped by the very real, very snowy winter… which would mean limited local, fresh food that I could work with.

That sunk in.  It’s somewhat arbitrary that California happens to be an enormous state with so many different climates so it’s easy for us claim such an awe-inspiring variety of “local” food year-round, but still… there’s a lot of good food grown around here that is best fresh — and can be used to great effect in sweets.

So, yes. Seriously.  I came to California for the film industry in 2002, and I stayed for the citrus in 2009.

I thought about Berkeley.  I drove up to check it out more, but the possibility of something happening in SF and having to commute made me start to think about SF more.  When I saw that there are apartments to rent in the Presidio in San Francisco, I felt like I’d found the perfect compromise between rural and urban life — I would get to live in national park while living in a city.  So… here goes!

Though don’t get me wrong — I know that that there’s so much great food across the country.  But the thought of turning 30 soon and moving to an entirely new — and possibly remote — place alone with a business based on fresh ingredients to think of was a slightly scary one.   So it made a difference that I already know Northern California and its people a bit.   SF seems so full of energy and fun, and it just thrills me to drive around Marin, Sonoma, and Napa.  And there’s also still so much that I don’t know about the area, and I get exciting just thinking about having the opportunity to explore more.  Of course, I am very familiar with the sometimes harsh realities of Bay Area traffic, but I don’t think that it’s as bad.

I really do hate to turn my back in LA because I think it’s often unfairly criticized.   When I moved back to LA in 2007 from Napa, I was ambivalent about the city.  I spent the better part of my first year in our apartment researching and testing recipes for BonBonBar, partially as a way to avoid the people and congestion that I’d left in 2005 after working in the film industry.  But as I experimented with different ingredients, I realized that the food and farmers markets here are fantastic.  I learned so much from the Santa Monica Farmers Market; it was like a second culinary school.  And when I launched the business and when I started selling at farmers markets myself, I met so many amazing people who have influenced me for the better and who I’ll never forget.  So, in a sad-but-happy way, I can say that when I leave LA this time, I’ll miss the people.

I honestly am not sure what will happen with BonBonBar yet.  I’ve been so touched by how many people have taken the company to heart and have gone so far out of their way to help it/me that I feel awful about putting it on hold; I can’t help feeling like I’ve let them down.  But I think I need to know more about conditions in SF before I make any decisions about restarting, and since I can’t know more until I move up there, I’ll have to wait and see.  I know I’m curious…

Where to Buy BonBonBars Now

Monday, April 7th, 2008

More BonBonBars are available in more stores than ever this week…

Market Gourmet in Venice is carrying my entire line available for retail — Caramel Nut Bars, Orange Bars, Scotch Bars, Vanilla Marshmallows, and Passion Fruit Marshmallows. I will also be in the store to do a demo this Friday, April 11, giving out samples during lunchtime, starting around 11:30am.

Joan’s on Third (between the Beverly Center and The Grove) now has my Caramel Nut Bars, Orange Bars, Vanilla Marshmallows, and Passion Fruit Marshmallows.

Chefmakers in the Pacific Palisades will be restocked with my Caramel Nut Bars, Vanilla Marshmallows, and Passion Fruit Marshmallows on Wednesday. I’ll be working there this Friday afternoon and evening, too.

And in San Francisco, The Candy Store will have my Orange Bars this week in addition to the Caramel Nut Bars and Vanilla Marshmallows that they already carry.

I’m honored to have my confections in each of these stores — surrounded by other interesting, quality products that have been assembled by the friendly and enthusiastic people who make the stores happen.

And for those outside of LA and SF, you can always get my candy bars and marshmallows through the BonBonBar website. Please note that the Malt Bar is only available through my website… and also that hot weather is on the way, which means that soon I will only ship candy bars Ground and Priority Mail to Southern California. All other destinations will have to go Next Day. All packages will have to be insulated and with gel packs, which I’m trying to make as eco-friendly as possible, but it’s tough. I may develop a line of caramels that can ship more slowly during the summer… but while tasty, they won’t exactly be handmade candy bars.