When Amanda Henke was pregnant, she was craving caramels like crazy and wanted to make them at home using natural ingredients. After many attempts to make caramels in her own kitchen, she was introduced to Annie B’s, a company that has been making handcrafted caramels and popcorn in small batches since 1978.
The caramels were incredibly delicious and the timing proved perfect as well. Tom and Carol Bouquet — founders of Annie B’s — were ready to retire. In short order, Amanda, and her husband Justin, agreed to purchase Annie B’s. This decision was made on the same day Amanda gave birth to their first child, a son named August. They officially took over the company in January of 2013, and have been having way too much fun ever since. Today, Annie B’s can be found in retailers across all 50 states.
Located in Kellogg, Minn., Henke continues to carry Annie B’s legacy forward, which is that of a small, family-owned caramel and popcorn company that prides itself on using natural, locally-sourced ingredients while also offering a completely gluten-free product line.
Available in 16 flavors like Coconut (brand new!), Sea Salt, Chocolate, Blueberry, Cappuccino, Butter Rum, and, of course, Original, the beautifully wrapped caramels are slow-cooked in copper kettles, so they have a truly delicious buttery flavor and smooth texture.
Handcrafted the way candy used to be made in eras bygone, Annie B’s caramels are so good, that Oprah Winfrey named them one of her “favorite things!” They come in a variety of flavors and are available in classy tins, boxes, and bags.
Annie B’s gluten-free popcorn is popped and packed to order and is available in various flavors.
Elegant tins feature three popcorn flavors that are charmingly packaged and come with a divider for party-worthy presentation. The popcorn is also available in bags of various sizes. For more information, visit www.anniebs.com.
If you were stranded on a deserted island with only one kind of candy, what would it be?
Swedish Fish are my absolute favorite candy. Plus, I’d be on an island so they seem appropriate.
What’s the last cool thing you saw online?
A video of hard candies being made at PapaBubble! www.papabubble.com.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A rock star! I played the piano and the French horn, but my music career never quite took off.
What is your pet peeve?
My biggest pet peeve is when people complain.
What issues concern you most about the confectionery industry and why?
Sugar is getting a lot of negative press lately, but I hope people will still feel good about treating themselves in moderation.
If given the chance to choose anyone, whom would you like to collaborate with?
I would love to work with Julia Child!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
What excites you most about your job?
Every day we get to work with smart, energetic people who make each day an interesting, challenging adventure.