Since Betsy Thagard founded B. toffee in Newport Beach, Calif., in 2009, the company has created quite the stir.
Thagard, who loves to cook and entertain, says she began testing and tweaking her toffee recipe once her children left for college. After years of experimenting with the finest, freshest and most natural ingredients, she developed B. toffee, and upon sharing it with family and friends, they urged her to introduce it to the world.
“I wanted to share something special that was not only beautiful to look at but delicious to eat,” Thagard says.
In the beginning, B. toffee gained momentum by word of mouth. Thagard began selling her toffee to A Market, a Newport Beach store that still carries the product to this day. Other locations soon followed.
And that’s no surprise. With sleek, sophisticated packaging, a crunchy texture and its sweet taste, B. toffee continues to earn recognition. B. toffee recently received Gold honors for “Top Toffee” and “Best Packaging” at the Taste Awards in San Francisco, Calif., and has been chosen as the official toffee of the Golden Foodie Awards for three years in a row.
B. toffee shows no signs of slowing down. The company has expanded production and manufacturing by relocating to a larger facility with a commercial kitchen twice the size of its previous space. And for Thagard and B. toffee, that’s twice as sweet.
If you were stranded on a deserted island with only one kind of candy, what would it be?
Most anything that includes chocolate! I love milk chocolate best. Chocolate, caramel and pecan turtles — I’m thinking that might have to be the next item we’ll produce.
What’s the last cool thing you saw online?
I experience something cool every time I open my computer. I love how everything is available at your fingertips! Especially the Amazon site where you can order something and the next day it is on your doorstep.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A singer, dancer and gymnast. My sisters and I would put on shows when our parents would have dinner parties. We thought we were so talented!
What issues concern you most about the confectionery industry and why?
The widespread use of child labor in cocoa harvesting. We assume our chocolate sources are industry leaders in their global efforts to promote sustainability of the environment of the cocoa growing regions and the well-being of cocoa workers.
What’s the last book you’ve read?
When I have a moment to read — which I love to do but don’t get to enough — I love mystery and thriller novels. The last book I read was by James Patterson, but it’s been so long I don’t even remember the name of it.
If given the chance to choose anyone, whom would you like to collaborate with?
I’d love to collaborate with the darling company Sugarfina. I think they need a B. toffee caramel confection in their lineup.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
It came from one of my first mentors: “Do the part of your job that you enjoy the most and that you are really good at. Delegate the rest to others you can trust and rely on.”
What excites you most about your job?
Sharing our toffee product with the world and witnessing the great joy it brings to so many. Riding this incredible wave of continuous growth in our business. Working with so many incredible companies and clients. The many places and opportunities we are taking the company.