My Candy Bars For Sale… Soon


Plans are afoot. A commercial kitchen has been secured. Paperwork has been filed. More paperwork will be filed. Much work is being done in preparation. Barring any insurmountable obstacles, I’ll be going to market with my candy bars. I’m planning on selling them through retail outlets and the internet.

It’s a little scary, but I’m very excited that I’ll finally be able to offer them to the public. And I’m excited that the wholesome ingredients and carefully-crafted recipes that I’ve assembled will hopefully be bringing pleasure to anyone interested enough to buy them.

To start out, I’m planning on offering two bars: the Malt Bar and the Salted Caramel Nut Bar.

I’ll be the only person in the kitchen… and I think it’s best to try to keep my sanity by focusing, rather than over-reaching. I love both bars, and they’re representative of what I believe in for my confections.

The Malt Bar is an enrobed bar with a malt ganache on top of shortbread. The ganache contains organic cream, milk, and malt syrup, and the shortbread is made with my favorite California butter. It will probably come in dark and milk chocolate.

The Salted Caramel Nut Bar is a molded bar with a selection of California-grown nuts, probably Scharffen Berger cacao nibs, and Maldon Sea Salt in a slightly oozy, buttery, and creamy caramel filling. The cream is organic in this, too, and it contains some of the wonderful nuts sold at the Santa Monica Farmers Market as well as almonds from Northern California. It will probably come in dark chocolate.

Originally, this bar was supposed to come with peanuts and cashews, but I want to represent California as much as I can, so I’m using the best that I can find around me. And even that’s a hard choice. It looks like it’ll be pistachios, pecans, and organic almonds.  Edit:  Or walnuts, pecans, and almonds.
The Spiced version of the Caramel Nut Bar (with organic cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, allspice, and coriander) might be available for the holidays.

The other bars will continue to be developed and released when the time is right.

I may offer Vanilla Bean Marshmallows and Passion Fruit Marshmallows at first, as well.

This is truly going to be a bootstrapping effort, so if you have ANY help that you can offer, PLEASE don’t be shy. 🙂

And don’t worry — I’m not done contacting my volunteer tasters. I’ll still need forthcoming bars to be sampled, and I might send out some Malt and Salted Caramel Nuts for fun, too.

27 Responses to “My Candy Bars For Sale… Soon”

  1. cybele Says:

    As a malt nut I am soooooo looking forward to both versions of the Malt Bar.

  2. brian Says:

    Ooh, maybe that means I am up soon since those are the flavors I mentioned? That’s so exciting about going into business. Please also share your experiences going into business. I bet there are some readers who could offer great advice. Best of luck!

  3. Elyse Says:

    Nina, that’s fantastic! I’m in Northern California, so I can’t wait to be able to buy online. Best of luck!!

  4. Frank Says:

    I have been following you from your beginning and it is wonderful to see you start this business. My mouth is watering but alas, I am in Bodrum, Turkey. You said internet sales??……..Yes! Yes!

  5. T Says:

    Yum, I love passion fruit! Please please please do the passion fruit marshmallows!

  6. dreamsicle Says:

    congratulations, nina. hope everything will turn out smoothly, i’m sure it’ll be a huge success. sorry that i haven’t been able to reply to your sweet e-mail coz i’ve been a bit busy w/ pastry school lately, but hopefully my ideas helped. all the best in candymaking, i can’t wait to hear more from u! ^___^

  7. Mimi Says:

    Congratulations! Sounds like a fun and exciting challenge. Good luck!

  8. G Says:

    Another fervent request for passionfruit marshmallows. You may have just solved many Christmas problems.

  9. Susan Says:

    Nina, let me know if I can help–I know a whole lotta candy lovers in that big building I work in! I have family in Chicago (hi, Anne!) and northern California too who wouldn’t mind spreading the word as well, I’m sure. Just give me a shout!

  10. Nina Says:

    Thanks so much to everyone for your well wishes and support! I’ll think fondly of them often — and probably the most when I’m alone in the commercial kitchen in the middle of the night, wondering if my chocolate will ever get into temper. 🙂

    Cybele – I hope you like both of them!

    Brian – Thanks! I’ll do my best to blog about it as much as I can — to share info, but you’re right, too, all of my readers combined could probably answer many of my questions.

    Elyse – Thank you! I hope you’ll enjoy them!

    Frank – Thanks! Hmm… I’m not sure that I’ll be able to send things internationally at first, but I’ll be sure to look into that more. I certainly hope that you’ll be able to try them at some point!

    T – Hmm… I think you’ve convinced me. 🙂

    Dreamsicle – Thank you! I hope that you’re enjoying pastry school!

    Mimi – Thank you!!!

    G – Oh, great! People who like passion fruit tend to really love these…. and they’ve even won over people who claim to not like marshmallows.

    Susan – Thanks, I definitely will! I’ll probably be suggesting to everyone that I can that they’ll make good holiday gifts for family and friends as well business associates… 🙂

  11. Nivedita Says:

    Nina, Congratulations and good luck! I can’t wait to try some! When you say retail outlets, do you mean bakeries, mom-and-pop stores, groceries or Target? Where should I look out for these? And have you picked a name yet? I mean not for the individual flavors, but the line as a whole?

  12. Tania Says:

    I’d order up some as holiday gifts. Good luck!

  13. rainey Says:

    Good for you!

    I know absolutely nothing about business and I’m far too much of a weenie to ever have done something so brave myself. But I’m guessing you’re making a good decision to start out working on your own to keep your quality where you want it and to learn what the problems you’ll have to deal with are and formulate the approaches and solutions that really represent the product you’re trying to put out.

    Do you have a plan for production? ‘Cause I imagine the demand will be very high indeed and there you’ll be on your lonesome trying to meet it. Are you looking for a single boutique outlet that matches your own profile or trying to operate the real time and/or internet distribution.

    Good luck! I look forward to following your great success.

  14. rainey Says:

    What is it like to temper and keep in temper huge amounts of chocolate?

    How much do you do at a time?

    How quickly do you use it up?

  15. erin Says:

    This is excellent news—I wish you the best of luck! Let me know if/when you want publicity and I’ll be happy to share the info on my (very limited audience) blog.

  16. Nina Says:

    Nivedita – They’ll be sold at independent mom ‘n pop style places at first… Maybe one day I’ll be able to fill an order for Target! And I do have a name… and plans to unveil it in the next couple of weeks. 🙂

    Tania – Fantastic! Thank you! 🙂

    Rainey – Thanks — and yes, these bars have such a particular process that I feel like working at other places would be only marginally useful as learning grounds. I do have a schedule for production, and hopefully I’ll be able to meet the demand since I’ll only have to actually make about 5 recipes over and over again

    Tempering chocolate in huge amounts is fine — it retains the heat better and it makes dipping easy. I’m using a machine for the tempering, and even though that’s not foolproof, it helps a lot with temp control. The amount varies… I don’t weigh it and can eyeball pretty well how much I’ll need for a given batch, but the machine has a 13# capacity.

    Erin – Thank you so much! I’ll definitely let you know. I’d really appreciate the publicity!

  17. Tommy Says:

    Congrats, Nina! I don’t know how far afield you’re looking as far as retail outlets go, but if you’re ever looking to get into the Portland market, New Seasons Market might be a good company to approach. Especially since I shop there…

  18. Nina Says:

    Thanks for the lead, Tommy! I’ll probably want to go further afield a bit down the line, and I do like Portland…

  19. Brian Says:

    Whoa! Awesome! This is a huge step. Good luck! I’ll certainly offer my financial support in the form of buying some candy bars (and gaining a few pounds… mmm, pounds of salted caramel, hopefully.)

  20. Heather Says:

    Hey, Nina. Congrats! Shoot me an email when you get a chance. I started a small chocolate and confections company this past April and if I can offer any support, I would be happy to do so.

  21. Elyse Says:

    Hey, Nina. I just sent you an email at your gmail address regarding buying your bars. Take a look.

    Elyse

  22. Tartelette Says:

    Congratulations Nina! I was just thinking it was high time I tried your confections! Hopefully your internet sales will reach South Carolina!!

  23. Nina Says:

    Brian – Cool, thank you!

    Heather – Thank you so much. I will!!!

    Elyse – Great!

    Tartelette – Thank you! I’m certainly going to try to manage it.

  24. jessica Says:

    have you looked into packaging yet?

  25. Nina Says:

    Jessica – I’m deep into that now. Trying to make it eco-friendly, simple, and secure. I’ll probably write a post about this, but what I’m thinking now is placing each bar on a thick basecard for support, putting it in a narrow cellophane bag, heat sealing it, putting a fun label on the front, and a simple label on the back. For boxes, I’ll most likely do 2, 4, or 8 (if I can finally find the correct box sizes for these abnormally sized confections), with recycled/acid free tissue paper as cushioning (or maybe candy pads), a simple kraft box sealed with a logo sticker, starch-based biodegradable packing peanuts, and a cardboard box (hopefully recycled). I have someone working on the logo now.

    If you have any suggestions, please let me know!!! It’s driving me a little crazy. 🙂

  26. Chocolate Gourmand Blog » Blog Archive » The Bar has been Raised Says:

    […] Nina, over at Sweet Napa. I’ve been reading her blog for over a year and was excited when she announced she was going to start her own candy business last October. I ordered her BonBonBars online last week and was hoping to hide my identity from […]

  27. Monique Says:

    Hi, I ran into your page by mistake while doing some research but I’m happy I did. You give me such inspiration. I am a college graduate who is tired of working day in and day out simply to make my employer rich. Recently I got laid off and with the frustration of searching for another job I began to think, why don’t I brain storm about somethings I’m good at and go into business for myself. The thought is extremely scary but I am willing to take a leap of faith, b/c I will kick myself if I go the rest of my life not ever knowing what might have been. I too have a talent for making a very sweet treat that I use to make for my family only on holidays but they as well as my friends would always request that I make it througout the year. I figure, why not turn that into a business opportunity. I am just in the beginning steps and I’m not anywhere as near as you are to getting started as I would like to have all of my marketing steps and leads in place before I take this life changing step. I applaude you for doing what you are doing and I also thought that maybe we could network with one another as I find it important to develop contacts with people who are in are trying to get into the same idustry as me. Please feel free to contact me at your convenience. I would wish you luck on your business venture but I’m sure you don’t need much luck you will do great!

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