Happy Happiness Day! If you weren’t aware that today, March 20, is officially International Day of Happiness, don’t worry – you’re probably not alone. That’s because it was celebrated for the first time only two years ago, following a resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2011. In it, happiness is described as a “fundamental human right,” with the authors calling for “a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes the happiness and well-being of all peoples.” This declaration, and the spirit and vision behind it, is enough to elevate my endorphin levels – but let’s mention some other ways we can celebrate this important day.
Spend time with family and friends – This may be a bit obvious, but sometimes, when things get chaotic and life gets busy, we end up neglecting those whom we value and love most. Today, catch up and spend time with the people who make you happiest.
Volunteer – It’s been scientifically proven that helping others makes people happy. When we put the needs of others before our own, we usually end up losing our worries and gaining a new perspective. So, pick a cause, pick a place, pick a person – it doesn’t matter! Just get out and help where you can!
Be a kid – Tap into your inner 10 year old and do something silly and fun. Fly a kite, play “duck, duck, goose!” in the backyard, start a pillow fight, or watch your favorite childhood movie (Aladdin, anyone?). And remember that that little kid is still in there.
Get outdoors – Just like volunteering, spending time in nature has been shown to reduce stress and make us happier. Watch the sunrise, go for a walk, listen to the birds, sit on your porch, or have a picnic. Afterwards, lie on your back and watch the clouds go by.
Pick one or do them all! But why limit yourself to March 20th? Why not every day? Think about what your life could look like if you consistently gave priority to activities that made you – and others – happy. Who would benefit? Who would be happier? You, your family, your friends, your community. Our world!
Move over chocolate, this year’s February 14th show stopper is that golden square of pure delight that we all love to love: caramel! If you’re looking for a new way to show your love this Valentine’s Day, consider giving the gift of caramel. Here are five reasons why you won’t regret it:
1. It’s caffeine free! Don’t waste time worrying about your caffeine intake on this loveliest of days. Unlike chocolate, caramel can be enjoyed day and night!
2. It’s exotic – not to mention original and thoroughly under appreciated. Chocolate, on the other hand, was exotic, what, like, 500 years ago when it was first introduced to Europeans following the defeat of the Aztecs by the Spanish conquistadors. Out with the old and in with the new, people.
3. It’s like butta! In both taste and texture, Becky’s handmade caramel is silky smooth – and there’s something undeniably sensuous about that.
4. You can pair it with other foods
! Try it alongside a smooth beer, freshly roasted coffee, a cheese plate, or even a colorful fruit tray! Who needs a fancy dinner when you’ve got perfect pairings?
5. It’s made with love! Every one of Becky’s delicious caramels are hand made, wrapped, and packaged with special attention and care, right here in Wisconsin. Feel good about indulging in a delicious treat that supports local small businesses!
Muriel Silva Photography
November has lots in store for Becky’s! One of the things we are most looking forward to is the LGBT Wedding Expo that’s being organized by the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce. We are excited for marriage equality in Wisconsin and are proud to participate in this celebratory event, the first of its kind in Wisconsin. We’ll be there, spreading joy and love with our one of a kind caramels, along with lots of other local vendors! See below for more details!
Who: Becky’s, LGBT individuals, allies, and lots of other great wedding vendors!
What: LGBT Chamber’s first-ever Wedding Expo
When: Thursday, November 13th from 4 – 8pm
Where: Radisson Milwaukee West located at 2303 N. Mayfair Rd, Wauwatosa WI
Why: This event was organized following the legalization of same-sex marriage in Wisconsin after an October 6th, 2014 court order declared Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional. The goal of this event is to connect LGBT individuals and couples with resources and allied businesses to make their special day even more memorable!
Note: This event is free and open to the public! For more information on the Expo or on the LGBT Chamber in general, please visit their website. It’s sure to be a great celebration, we hope to see you there!
As the saying goes, ‘all good things come in pairs.’ Peanut butter and jelly, yin and yang, salt and pepper, Simon and Garfunkel, caramel and…well, lots of things! If you haven’t already heard, Becky’s, along with the help of our local partners, came up with some delicious caramel pairings that bring out the best of both worlds. If you’re hosting a party or just want to treat yourself to something special, consider enjoying any of the below pairings – or, venture out and come up with your own (although, if you do, sharing with us is a must)!
Original – This caramel is a classic in every sense of the word. It is simple, smooth and timeless in ingredients and flavor profile. Try pairing it with:
Wine: Riesling, Prosecco, Moscato, Voignier
Beer: hard ciders
Coffee: French roast or espresso
Tea: Vanilla Mint
Cheese: Gouda, Manchego, Aged Cheddar
Original Sea Salt – The crystal-like sea salt really brings out the flavors of:
Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon, Tawny Port, Red Sangria
Beer: honey wheat beers
Coffee: Dark Chocolate Mocha
Tea: Matcha Green Tea, Vanilla Mint
Cheese: Hard Swiss, Smoked Gouda, Muenster
Dark Chocolate Sea Salt – There’s not much that doesn’t go well with this top seller!
Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon, Tawny Port, Red Sangria, Moscato
Beer: stout beers such as Founders Porter, Anchor Porter, Guinness Draught, North Coast #38 Stout
Coffee: light bodied, smooth coffee
Tea: Earl Grey, Oolong, Vanilla Mint
Cheese: Triple Cream Brie, Goat’s milk (i.e. Chevre with honey and almond), Marscapone mixed with melted chocolate (serve on a ginger snap!)
Beer & Pretzel – This caramel has depth and a full-body feel, so consider pairing with:
Wine: Red Sangria, Petite Syrah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Moscato
Beer: smoked beers, Belgian Dubbles, Tripples, or Golden Ales
Coffee: medium bodied blend with hints of chocolate and berries
Cheese: Aged Cheddar, Blue Cheese, Smoked Gouda, Gorgonzola (serve on a water cracker with spiced pecan for garnish!)
Becky’s pairings indeed give plenty of food for thought! So choose two (or four or six!) and savor the flavor of these heavenly combinations!
It’s Wednesday and we’ve got some good news to share with you! Becky’s president and owner, Rebecca Scarberry, was recently named one of eleven ‘Thinkers’ by the Denver-based Think Global Institute (TGI) as part of the Inaugural Wisconsin 2014 Business Institute. Check out the institute’s Think Global Milwaukee page to learn more about the project and meet the ten other Milwaukee-based ‘Thinkers.’ What does it all mean, you ask? Let us explain, because it’s really very exciting!
For the next four months, Becky will receive business guidance and advisory services from the Business Institute alongside women from 25 other countries. In effect, the TGI will act as a “sounding board for ideas, issues and challenges.” Becky is especially looking forward to the opportunity to serve as a mentor, helping other first-time women entrepreneurs find their path on the road to small business success. Talk about a supportive global community!
And while we’ve got certain things down pat here at Becky’s Blissful Bakery, there are many things we have yet to learn. Just as in life, there is always room to grow and we are grateful and ready for the opportunity. We couldn’t be more excited to be joining this global , women-oriented network of thinkers and innovators. Here’s to growth, increased knowledge, new horizons, and great caramel!
This post is about the hardships and successes of a man named Danny Heinsohn. (I went to high school with Danny which gives this post special significance for me). In May 1999, young Danny was diagnosed with brain cancer and soon thereafter began one year of chemotherapy. Today, Danny is enjoying life cancer free. Surely this is reason enough to celebrate but there also happens to be more to this inspiring story.
To celebrate his 10th year milestone of remission in 2010, Danny decided to register to compete in Ironman Canada and founded My Hometown Heroes (MHH), a scholarship fund for young adult cancer survivors. Upon completion of his Ironman, he achieved his $10,000 fundraising goal and the inaugural recipient even got to throw the first pitch at a Reno Aces baseball game in May 2011. To date, MHH has awarded twenty scholarships to young adult cancer survivors attending universities and community colleges from across the country. But there is more work to be done.
Startlingly, there are over 70,000 new cancer diagnoses each year among young adults between the ages of 15 and 39. Recognizing this gap, Danny has already amplified the mission of his foundation; by 2020, his goal is to raise and distribute $ 1 million to the young adult survivor population.
On their website and in this brief video, we get the chance to meet the young people whose lives have been touched by Danny and MHH. How have they remained so resilient in the face of such a devastating diagnosis? All agreed that maintaining a positive attitude and living in the moment are key. Equally important is having a solid support system and a sense of community fighting along with you. These words of wisdom can and should be heeded by anyone looking to lead a more resilient and fulfilled life. For if there is one thing that life demands of us, it is resiliency. Fortunately, as Danny’s story has shown, there are plenty of strong young people out there to show us the way.
For more information on Danny and My Hometown Heroes, or if you would like to make a donation, please visit their website.
Crashers. We’ve all seen them. Those sneaky, leech-like individuals that latch onto ceremonies, parties and celebrations to which they have not been invited, sucking the life out of them. We know their kind all too well. But you’ve probably never seen the likes of Caramel Crashers, a close-knit group of wedding crashers, who, to protect their identity and crash-ability, prefer to remain anonymous. “We’re not your typical crashers,” says one such member. “Oh no, we’re way better and we’re not a nuisance. We actually make weddings more fun.” I could feel my eyes begin to roll…
For confirmation of this seemingly outlandish declaration, I turned to Julie and Paul Striver, a recently married couple whose June 18th reception party was crashed by the now recognizable group. When I asked them what they thought of those “uninvited individuals” who drank, danced and dined on their dime, they looked at me like I was speaking Afrikaans. After a minute of expectant silence, I finally sputtered, “You know, the caramel guys!” Julie’s eyes then beamed wide in recognition while Paul let out a hearty laugh. “Oh you mean those guys!” gushed Julie. “They were great! The life of the party. Everyone was raving about them, how nice they were and how much fun and style they added to our special day.” Paul proceeded to add that it “wouldn’t have been the same” without them. Needless to say, I was stumped. How exactly had these wedding crashers managed to charm their hosts so completely, so perfectly? I had to find out.
Intrigued, yet still doubtful, I met back up with the celebrity crashers. When I asked them about their style, method, and strategy, they were blunt but polite. “Listen, our goal is to bring more life to the party. How do we do that? We are impeccably wrapped, we always smell good, and we taste even better. Plus, we’ve got this refined mystique going on. People aren’t expecting us, which is why they’re always so spellbound.” A velvety smooth response indeed. But I needed to know more. Most importantly, I needed to know why they did it. Why did they crash parties? “Look, we love people and we love making people happy. If we can add a bit of zest and bliss to someone’s special day, well then doggonnit we’re gonna do it. We’re gonna crash.”
I was finally satisfied, finally persuaded. These were some fine crashers. These were professionals. What’s more, I, too, was captivated. Utterly bewitched. And utterly convinced that these caramels would cause one heck of a hubbub wherever they crashed.
1. He’s a guy. As such, we’re betting he probably likes a good beer once in a while. And probably pretzels, too. What about beer and pretzels? This is obviously a match made in man-heaven.
2. It’s not just any ol’ beer. Oh no. Becky’s uses organic ESB beer crafted by Milwaukee’s own Lakefront Brewery. Beer and buy-local lovers alike will enjoy this caramel’s masculine punch!
3. They’re sweet and salty. Did we mention these caramels are dusted with sparkling sea salt? (See “match made in man-heaven” comment above).
4. It makes a great game day snack! Whether Dad’s watching the World Cup or a neighborhood baseball game, Becky’s Salted Beer & Pretzel Caramels are the perfect snack to bring along!
5. He’ll feel like the big man on campus. People right and left will be asking where your Dad got these scrumptious treats. All this attention will make him feel important, invincible, and deliciously satisfied.
The sun is shining and the bees are buzzing as I ponder how to feature our good friends at Stone Creek Coffee in our next blog. Clicking through their website, I come across a phrase that catches my eye: “Sip Slowly.” Intrigued, I dig a bit deeper and unearth what is both a company philosophy and piece of advice to coffee drinkers everywhere.
Sip slowly. It sounds simple and self-explanatory. But just because it’s simple doesn’t make it easy. And perhaps it does merit and explanation. On their website, the company explains the catchphrase this way: “From seed to cup, [our] coffee is guided by many hands…Now your hands are the ones that get to grasp that cup to enjoy the experience. Sip Slowly.” But let’s not leave it at that.
Sipping coffee (or any other beverage) slowly, requires several things, such as time, patience, self-restraint and a willingness to linger. In a world where speed and multi-tasking have been put on a pedestal, this doesn’t come naturally to many of us. However, I want to encourage you to try. Next time you find yourself with a cup of Stone Creek Coffee in hand, stop for a moment. Feel the cup, snug in your palm. Inhale its reassuring aroma. Finally, take a sip, savoring the pleasant warmth in its wake. You will see that it is pure bliss.
The ‘Sip Slowly’ method is a good one, tried and true – and surprisingly rewarding. Just because we drink coffee everyday doesn’t mean we should just go through the motions, lest we become coffee-drinking robots. Instead, let us regard the experience as a meaningful ritual, showing it the respect and care it demands. Go on, give it a try.
To learn more about Stone Creek Coffee, its tasty brews, or cafe locations, please visit their website. Until then, sip slowly!
By now, 44 years after the first celebration, most of us have at least heard of Earth Day. Even so, many of you earthlings might be wondering: ‘What’s it really all about?’ and, ‘Why are we celebrating it ?’ Keep reading to find out the answers – and pick up some Jeopardy-worthy trivia in the process!
1. It is celebrated in 192 countries
That’s no joke! On 4/22 people everywhere, from Milwaukee to Calcutta, will participate in eco-related activities, concerts, discussions, and festivals, all with the aim of creating solidarity for environmental protection. And while each country observes Earth Day in their own, culturally unique, way, the spirit of the celebration is universally understood. Wanting to honor, cherish, and preserve our mother Earth is something we can all relate to, regardless of where we come from.
2. It all started with a guy named Denis Hayes
Okay, actually there were a couple of guys. Peace activist John McConnell first introduced the idea during a UNESCO conference in 1969 but it was Hayes who did the national coordinating of the first Earth Day, held in 1970, and eventually took it global, organizing events in 141 countries. Hayes has since gone on to found the Earth Day Network which currently operates in 180 nations worldwide. Hayes was also born in Wisconsin – just when you thought this story couldn’t get any better!
3. It is the largest secular holiday in the world
Truth be told, there aren’t many holidays that we celebrate today that do not have some sort of religious origin, however obscure. Earth Day is certainly an exception, and the largest one at that!
4. We observe it on April 22 for good reason
And no, it’s not because the earth was born on this day. Actually, the date was picked by US Senator Gaylord Nelson for several practical reasons. It coincided with the ‘slow season’ on many college campuses, and Nelson saw campus events, fueled by change-hungry college kids, as the key stage for Earth Day activities. The day also did not conflict with any religious holidays, such as Easter or Passover. Even the weather was likely to cooperate. Finally (and probably coincidentally), April 22 also happened to be the day following the birthday of prominent conservationist, John Muir.
5. There is an ‘Earth Day Anthem’
Don’t believe it? The lyrics, which are set to Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’, go a little something like this. The idea, put forth by Indian poet-diplomat Abhay K, is to unite the world in song – and commitment to preserve our mother earth.
Want to get involved or learn more? Get started by checking out the Earth Day Network website!
This is a special blog post because it happens to be about one of our own: our manager, Jamie. Jamie is one of sixteen people that will be running in a marathon relay for Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a disease affecting more than 2.3 million people worldwide. The relay, which begins in LA on Sunday, April 13th, is comprised of sixteen segments and finishes in New York City. In Herculean fashion, Jamie will be running 156 miles in six days (averaging out to 26 miles per day!) to raise money and awareness for this debilitating disease.
MS is tricky because symptoms vary widely and can come and go throughout one’s lifetime. Because the disease affects the central nervous system, physical, mental, and sometimes psychiatric problems can occur. Of even greater concern is the fact that MS affects women two to three times as much as men. Currently, there is no known cure for the disease – something the ‘MS Run the US Relay’, started last year by Hartland resident Ashley Kumlien, is looking to change.
As she runs (and sweats!) from Vernal, Utah to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Jamie will be raising money that will be used to find a cure. She is already halfway to achieving her fundraising commitment of $10,000. Becky’s has decided to pitch in, offering a free box of caramels to anyone donating $100 to Jamie’s fund between April 14 – 18. If you would like to contribute, you can do so by donating as much or as little as you would like here. And remember, it is the support of people who donate that enable runners like Jamie to get through their strenuous segments!
We are so excited to support Jamie on this journey and we know she will make us proud – heck, she already has! Her mixture of courage, compassion, and altruism is something we should all strive for!
To follow Jamie’s segment of the relay, tune in to Fox 6 on April 14th for their 4pm Studio A Broadcast.
Good luck, Jamie!
PS. Good luck also to the two other relay runners from Wisconsin: Amy Van Dyke, from Fond Du Lac, and Joy Lueck from Milwaukee. Go Wisconsin!
For those of you who missed our St. Paddy’s Day blog, it was all about the color green and personal growth. This time, we are focusing on a different type of growth, one that impacts you, your family, and your community: local business growth! On Wednesday, March 26th from 5-8pm, Local First Milwaukee will kick off its annual meeting and its “SHIFT Your Spending” campaign to spur local business growth. The event, which takes place at Rail Hall at 131 W. Seeboth Street in Milwaukee, will feature over a dozen Local First members (Becky’s included!) and their products and/or services, which means this is a once a year opportunity for you to get up close and personal with your local entrepreneurial community. It’s also a great time to learn how you can make ‘the big shift’.
If you are looking to buy more local (and, why shouldn’t you, when it strengthens community ties and boosts local prosperity), the first step is to become informed. You wouldn’t buy a home without researching the market or purchase a car before taking it for a spin, would you? No! So if you are passionate about shifting your spending to include more local, take the evening of March 26th to have some fun, do some sampling, and gain a greater sense of how you can spread the local-business love! We sincerely hope to see you there!
Despite not being able to claim Irish heritage, St. Patrick’s Day happens to be one of my favorite holidays. As I recently made plans with friends to celebrate this jolliest of days, I got to thinking about why this is so. Why do I feel so compelled to celebrate on March 17th? And, perhaps more importantly, just what exactly am I celebrating? After a bit of self-reflection and a pint of Guinness (only joking), I realized the answer lies in a color…
Green. While St. Patrick’s Day evokes thoughts of the Emerald Isle, shamrocks, leprechauns, corned beef and cabbage, bagpipes, and parades, the color green stubbornly remains at the forefront of my thoughts. As luck would have it (pun painstakingly intended), green is also my favorite color. For me, the color green symbolizes energy, hope, good health, growth, and above all, life. And, come to think of it, it is the green we associate with St. Patrick’s Day that I love best. A green so bright and vibrant, so full of life, that you can practically hear it breathe.
I guess what I mean to say is, what I am really celebrating this March 17th is not leprechauns, or beer, or even Saint Patrick himself (sorry man), but rather life and living and living well. I mean really, how much luckier could we be? So, grab a box of beer & pretzel caramels and let us toast to spring, to old friends, to new challenges, to personal growth, and to life!
Valentine’s Day is less than one week away! Whether you love it or hate it, here are a few things to keep in mind on this loveliest of days.
Spoil yourself and your loved ones. Press pause on your diet, set aside your guilt, and take this one day to treat yourself to something you love to eat. Dark Chocolate Sea Salt caramels, anyone?
Say the L-word. Quite frankly, in a society that values macho-ism and stoicism above all else, we don’t say ‘I love you’ nearly as much as we should. Everyone wants to feel loved and valued, so say it, and say it earnestly – when you really mean it, that is.
Remember Becky’s caramels. Like a reliable friend, Becky’s caramels are always there, waiting to sweeten the day and express the love you feel for yourself, friends, and family!
Get caught up in the hype. The best things in life are simple and Valentine’s Day celebrations should be no exception. There is no rule book stating you must buy roses or go out for a fancy dinner. Rather, keep things real by cooking a heartfelt meal at home before cozying up next to the fireplace. Love carnations? Then ditch the roses. Express your love and appreciation the way YOU want to, not the way society says you should.
Get down in the dumps. Alone on Valentine’s Day? Single? Who cares. You’ve got family and friends whom you love and who love you, and that is worth celebrating! And if you don’t have these, you have life. So love your life!
Focus on getting. This one may be the hardest of them all and, for that reason, is arguably the most important. Valentine’s Day is about telling the people we love how much they mean to us, not about getting a golden necklace or a sleek new watch. Tell someone special just how they make your life more beautiful and full, with no strings attached. This is the best gift you can give to yourself and others.
‘Tis a New Year! If you’re like most people, you have probably set a resolution for 2014. The most common involve dieting or getting more exercise. Mine included all of the above plus trying to wane my body off of caffeine – hard to do when sipping a cup of piping hot tea or coffee has become a daily ritual. So when I recently found myself outside the door of a café on a bitter cold January afternoon, my initial feeling was one of guilt. “Don’t go in! Don’t be lured by the caffeine mistress!” my subconscious yelled at me. With a gulp, I ignored this mental warning, pulled open the door, and found a seat next to a foggy window.
As I waited for my latte (oh dear, dear friend!), I silently reprimanded myself for being there and for caving on my resolution so soon. But when I sat down again, frothy latte in hand, my thoughts began to change. I looked down at my steaming cup. I looked out the window at the setting sun. I smelled the delicious aroma of roasting coffee beans. I listened to the rhythmic hum of the café. In short, I took it all in, and I felt blissful. My thoughts then went something like this: “This is nice, just sitting here… I feel quite content. This is what they call ‘living in the moment.’ And I’m going to milk it.”
Having made this small but significant intention, I was able to fully enjoy and appreciate the experience. All of a sudden, my latte tasted even more delectable, my body and mind relaxed, and the guilt I had felt at the door was nowhere to be seen.
I took away two things from this seemingly ordinary experience. First, I decided to think about my resolutions as an encouraging mother, guiding me in the right direction, as opposed to a strict and inflexible governess, spewing continuous reprimands. After all, it’s better to be free and happy than self-disciplined and miserable. Second, this experience served as a reminder of the importance of simple pleasures, such as taking an early morning walk or savoring the creaminess of your favorite Becky’s caramel.
Instead of denying ourselves simple pleasures, let’s set a conscious intention to fully enjoy and appreciate them. To fully savor them. Let’s devote our attention to their sights, smells, sounds, and tastes. If you do, I’m sure you’ll be left feeling entirely blissful.
When you hear the words ‘Christmas,’ ‘Holidays,’ and ‘New Years,’ what things come to mind? If you’re like most people, you’re probably thinking of twinkling lights, cozy fireplaces, the smell of cookies baking in the oven, perfectly wrapped packages, mulled wine, carols, crisp white snow, and laughter with family and friends. Oh and let’s not forget about Santa and the gang. Cue the warm and fuzzy feelings…
But what about the not-so-pleasant side of Christmas, does anybody think about that? Now, I am certainly no Grinch, but let’s be honest, the holidays, while undeniably being the most joyful time of year, can also be the most stressful. I’m talking gift lists, grocery lists, long lines, family feuds, flight delays, stormy weather, winter colds, etc. I mean, shoot, it’s amazing we manage to be merry and cheerful at all! So how do people do it? How do we deal with all this stress?
With Becky’s tried and true, Grinch-Be-Gone Guide, that’s how! It’s simple, really. Follow these five steps to ensure a holiday season that is genuinely happy and stress-free:
1. Get to know your enemy: watch Jim Carrey’s “The Grinch” and read Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” You’ll want to get up close and personal with Mr. Grinch and Mr. Scrooge so you know what you’re up against – and how to beat it!
2. Hold a candlelit ceremony in your home to banish the “Stressors of Christmases Past.” Incense, bells, tinsel, and the like, may be used for this purpose. If your family finds your behavior odd, tell them to scram.
3. If, at any time, you begin to feel overwhelmed by to-do lists or planning, stop what you are doing. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and try to remember what Christmas is really all about. Proceed as usual.
4. When family feuds arise, as they inevitably do, be the bigger person and do your best to accommodate the wishes of others and accept friends and family for who they are, for better or worse. Remember that Christmas is about giving and not getting.
5. If all of the above fail (which they very well might) you can always find refuge in a box of Becky’s gourmet caramels. If the urge arises, simply exit the room you are in, proceed to secret stash, shut door, and indulge in one or two of these scrumptious treats until Grinch-like symptoms subside. Repeat as necessary.
Wishing all of our readers and supporters a stress-free holiday season! Merry Christmas to you all!
Can you believe it? Thanksgiving Day is just one week away. Seven days is the only thing standing between us and golden turkeys, ruby red cranberries, aromatic stuffing, and cheerful chatter with friends and loved ones. In anticipation of this festive occasion, we got to thinking about why this holiday in particular is so special and just exactly who makes it so. We even got a list going. This year, Becky’s ‘Thankful For’ list included our friends, family, local community, customer support and appreciation and, of course, Santa (who else!?). After examining this list with a critical eye, we noticed a pattern. The things we were most thankful for this year, like every year, were, well, people. Not our new iPhone, or Craig’s List steal, or brand new, make-em-weep boots. Not even Google Maps. No, it always comes back to the people. The people whose love, support, guidance, and friendship have made our lives and our job a whole lot more blissful. So thank you, people! Without you, we would have nothing to celebrate this Thanksgiving Day!
PS. Looking for a way to say thanks to ‘your people’ this Thanksgiving? Look no further than Becky’s! Because the only thing better than Thanksgiving Day, is Thanksgiving Day with caramels!
What: Customer Of The Month
Where: Sendik’s Bayside, New Berlin, Mequon, Franklin,Germantown, West Bend, Grafton, Greenfield, and Whitefish Bay.
Why: “Becky’s Customer Service to our stores and to our customers is top notch. They are responsive to our needs and are great communicators. They have also been very committed
to in-store sampling times and offering demonstrations to our customers, particularly during our store promotions and events. Our Customers certainly enjoy the interaction, and we’re thankful for the growing partnership.”
“Becky’s Blissful Bakery products have the characteristics that our customers are seeking. The ingredients are 100% organic, and it’s a specialty product that is made locally. Even their labels and packaging are made in Wisconsin. In our search for unique products to continually enhance the best grocery shopping experience, period, Becky’s clearly stood out. We’ve carried the product for the past few months, and are customers are truly enjoying it.” -Brittany Gross, Marketing Analyst, Sendik’s Food Markets.
For more information on Sendiks visit there website at www.sendiksmarket.com. Also, be sure to stop in for the West Bend Anniversary Sale on November 2nd, we will be sampling Caramel’s from 10-2!
Well folks, it’s officially October, and if you’re like us you’ve already begun thinking about the upcoming holiday season. Central to this jubilant time of year is the idea of gift giving. And while we certainly hope you consider choosing our gourmet caramels as your gift, it really is all about the giving, isn’t it? But, if you’re going to be giving, you might as well make Ron Burgundy proud and keep your gift selections smart and classy. What follows, then, are simple steps to ensure just that.
Step One: Don some pearls (if you’re a woman) or cuff links (if you’re not a woman) to get your classy juices flowing as you begin to assemble your gift list. While you’re at it, pour yourself a glass of vino, preferably red.
Step Two: As you ponder what items to get, remember that to reach the heart you must first pass through the taste buds. Selecting a rare, delicious treat as your gift should strike you as the obvious choice! Eureka!
Step Three: We all know that looks are everything, so make sure the gourmet item you decide to get is physically attractive and impeccably packaged, preferably in Tiffany blue and crème-anglaise white – the world’s classiest color combination.
Step Four: Careful! Don’t be lured by predictable, commonplace gifts (read: chocolate, cookies, cupcakes, etc.) that usually end up disappointing. If you find yourself tempted, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and repeat the following mantra until you feel confident in your gift selection: ‘Keep Calm and Stay Classy.’
Step Five: When the time comes, present your delectable gourmet gift to the recipient in an off-hand, nonchalant manner while saying “It’s really not much” or “Oh it’s nothing special.” Nothing is classier that feigned disinterest.
If, after reading these tips, you still feel at a loss, contact our classy gift specialists at email@example.com or by calling 262-327-4111.
Stay Classy, gift givers!
Heee’s baaaack! Our Salted Gingerbread Caramel, that is…
It’s September and that means it is officially gingerbread season! As the kiddos head back to school and loquacious geese make their way south to escape the creeping cold air, we turn to gingerbread-flavored anything and everything for the warmth, comfort, and spicy deliciousness it provides. Starbucks has its piping hot gingerbread lattes, McDonald’s has its gingerbread shakes and Becky’s, well, Becky’s has the ultimate comfort indulgence: Salted Gingerbread Caramel! We add copious amounts of ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon to our creamy caramel for a treat that is 100% sigh-inducing… seriously.
After a hugely successful debut, we are very excited to be bringing back this caramel, mostly because it makes our kitchen smell so darn good (one of the many perks of working in the caramel industry)! So, start your fall off right by getting or gifting these delicious treats. Either stop by our kitchen any Saturday from 9-1pm or order online here.
With that, we wish you all a wonderful fall and a very Happy Gingerbread Season!
We’re feeling extraordinarily blissful this week after winning Silver in the ‘Top Caramels’ category of the International Chocolate Salon Awards. Honoring excellence in chocolate and confection, the competition received submissions from across the country and highlighted the best in show this past week. We are told the judges were diggin’ our ingredients (especially those crunchy pretzels) and uniqueness. We are extremely grateful for the compliments and recognition – and even hungrier to win first place next year! To read more about the awards or to see other winners, click here.
September is just around the corner and you know what that means – it’s time to take the Eat Local Challenge! During the first two weeks of September, Eat Local Milwaukee challenges you to think local first when you purchase and eat food. If this sounds intimidating, it shouldn’t! It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, and you aren’t competing with anyone. This is more of a personal challenge to start living a healthier lifestyle while supporting your community and the planet. Even if you take a baby step by, say, deciding to buy a different vegetable every Saturday at a farmer’s market, that’s progress! What you should be aiming for is quality, not quantity. This challenge is organized and promoted by Eat Local Milwaukee, a collaboration of the Urban Ecology Center and Outpost Natural Foods along with the support of Slow Food WISE and Mke Foodies. For more information on the challenge, including tips on where to buy local food, visit Eat Local Milwaukee’s website.
Eat Local Milwaukee is also sponsoring this weekend’s Eat Local Resource Fair on August 17th which will take place from 11-3pm at the Urban Ecology Center downtown. This event is free and open to the public and will provide info, tips, and tools to help you eat local all year round. Becky’s will be sampling and selling alongside other local vendors. We are very excited to be there, and we hope you stop by to enjoy some homegrown food and support the Milwaukee food scene.
So to recap, your mission, should you choose to accept it, will be to incorporate more ‘local’ into your life for the first two weeks of September! If you just can’t wait to get started, head to the Eat Local Resource Fair this Saturday!
And remember, eat with intention!
Who: Albrecht’s Delafield Market
What: Customer of the Month!
When: August 2013
Where: 3255 Golf Road, Delafield
Why: “Becky’s caramels are always fresh and consistent with quality. We feel we have more of a partnership with Becky’s that results in ideas that benefit us both. We have placed Becky’s caramels in our floral department as well as in the candy aisle to encourage additional sales. In turn, [Becky’s] always participates during our special events and tastings. Becky’s provides a unique and quality product – it’s a bonus that it’s made here in Wisconsin! As a locally owned grocery store, we believe it is important to buy local. Our customers like the creamy, sweetness of the caramel and they like to support local. Customers buy the caramels as gifts for family and friends. We wish Becky’s continued success for many years to come!” Kerry, Albrecht’s Delafield Market.
For more information on this locally owned company, visit their website. Also, be sure to check out their store on August 17th for their summer barbecue bash, going down from 10-3pm. We’ll be there sampling along with around 50 other local vendors!
Ever shied away from buying that oh-so-good looking jar of caramel sauce, unsure of how to use it? Then keep on reading! The recipes that follow offer some fun and creative ways to get in touch with your inner ‘Becky’ Crocker (we all have one, don’t we?) and are sure to keep you feeling cool and blissful this summer. Never again feel intimidated by that enticing jar – instead, show that caramel sauce who’s boss! Got other caramel ideas for us? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Profiteroles with Caramel Sauce
Caramel Apple Martini
Dulce de Leche Shakes
Grilled Peaches with Whipped Cream and Caramel
Chilled Lemon Souffles with Caramel Sauce
Spiced Caramel Banana Smoothies
Iced Caramel Cappuccino
Apple Chips with Salted Caramel Yogurt Dip
Caramel Apple Yogurt Parfaits
Yogurt and Banana Frozen Dessert
Brie with Dried Fruit
Other ideas we’re loving:
– Fresh fruit with salted caramel sauce
– Make a Sundae on a Sunday (genuis!) : we think Toasted-Coconut Caramel Ice Cream Sundaes sound pretty dang good
– Caramel Pecan Cheesecake : heat up 2 jars of Becky’s caramel sauce, mix with 1.5 cups pecans (or your choice of nuts), pour mixture on top of cheesecake, and bake at 350 for 10 min.
Are you a visual person? Check out our ‘Caramel Sauce 101’ Board on Pinterest to see accompanying recipe photos – they’re worth a look, trust us!
Who: Outpost, Capitol Drive
What: Customer of the Month!
When: July 2013
Where: 100 E Capitol Drive, Milwaukee
Why: “Becky’s Blissful Bakery is pretty easy to love! Great product, great demos, great response! At Outpost Natural Foods, we believe in not only supporting local business, but knowing those folks on a first name basis. We go out of our way to source great food and have lasting relationships with the folks that bring that food to us. We treasure Becky’s just as much as we treasure their caramels! People love [Becky’s] caramels because they love treating themselves! Having individually wrapped caramels lets [our customers] do that! And they love the original caramel with sea salt, our best seller!” Diana, Outpost Capitol.
The love is mutual, folks. The staff at Outpost Capitol (and all Outposts, atually) is always super friendly and attentive to our needs. It’s a pleasure doing business with such pleasant people who are doing wonderful things for the Milwaukee area and its citizenry. Thanks Outpost Capitol!
For more info on this crazy good company, including featured recipes and what’s fresh right now, check out their website here.
We’re going to try something new here at Becky’s Blissful Bakery. For 21 weeks, YOU will have the opportunity to win two boxes of caramels: one for yourself and one that you will give to another person, ‘random act of kindness’ style. This is our attempt to show our appreciation for our customers and to make the world a more blissful place.
Begin Date: Friday, July 19
End Date: Friday, December 6
The Bliss is in the Details:
1. You decide to make someone’s day a bit more blissful – it could be a friend, the mailman, or even a total stranger – you choose!
2. You make your case on our facebook page (keep it short and sweet, please!) for why you and this other person deserve some bliss
3. We will then select one winner each Friday; if we choose you, stop by our Pewaukee shop on Saturday between 9 and 1pm to pick up your caramels! Or, if you’re not local, we’ll ship you your 2 boxes!
4. Savor your box and give the remaining one to that deserving someone
5. Share your story – and the recipient’s reaction! – with us on our facebook page
6. Bask in the bliss that comes from giving and receiving little acts of kindness
It’s that simple, folks – but then again, kindness usually is.
There’s a new gal in town, and her name is Margarita – no middle name, no last name, Madonna-style. ‘Rita (as she’s called by friends) created a buzz when she arrived one month ago in the small town of Pewaukee, Wisconsin. Locals are hopelessly drawn to her intoxicating scent and exotic twang. “Heck, she’s just fun to be around,” is a common refrain heard around town and used by admirers to describe ‘Rita’s unique allure. The fact that she’s only in town until August creates a sense of urgency to meet and greet this star from across the border. Keep reading for more information on this lovely lady caramel.
Nationality: Mexican by birth; Pewaukee, WI transplant
Physical description: deep amber in color, 1″ x 1.5″, .004 lbs., great figure
Occupation: full-time dessert
Relationship Status: single (but on and off again with a certain Mr. Tequila)
Likes: fiestas, chips and salsa, walks on the beach, guitar, having a good time, warm weather, colorful umbrellas!
Dislikes: winter, seriousness, sobriety
Favorite Color: lime green
Favorite Songs: “Margaritaville” by Jimmy Buffet and “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper
Don’t forget, ‘Rita’s only in town until August; connect with her here!
In recognition of Small Business Week, we would like to dedicate this week’s blog to just that. After all, despite our blissful prospects, we are still very much a part of the nation’s small business community. Let’s start with some important facts to get your small business wheels turning. (Note: small business = private sector employer + 99 or fewer employees)
27.8 million – The number of businesses that are small
55 million – The number of people in the US who work at a small business
99.7% – The percentage of employers that are small businesses
Austin, Oklahoma City, Denver – Top US cities for small businesses
By shifting only 10% of current spending toward local business, Milwaukeeans can create upwards of 311 million in new economic impact!
What’s the lesson here? Small businesses are a very important part of our nation’s economic and cultural identity. When they thrive, we all do. If small business is your thing, or to follow this week’s events, check out the National Small Business Week’s website. And to end, we would like to congratulate Tom Nieman, of Fromm Family Foods, for receiving the Wisconsin Small Business Person Award. Way to go Tom!
Now get out there and support small businesses!
(Sources: Small Business Administration & Local First Milwaukee)
Who: Good Harvest Market
What: Customer of the Month!
When: June 2013
Where: Pewaukee, Wisconsin
Why: “Becky’s Blissful Bakery has always provided us with exceptional products that fit into the quality standards we have at our store. Each box of caramels is made with the best possible, organic ingredients. Our guests love the caramels! We also appreciate that Becky’s uses local ingredients in many of their [caramel] varieties. Supporting local businesses is an important value to all of us at the store. Blissful Bakery is a wonderful local company to work with. We appreciate all of the hard work, care, and dedication that they put into every single box of caramels.” Valerie, Marketing Director, Good Harvest Market.
Did You Know? In addition to offering natural and organic products, Good Harvest Market regularly offers wellness-based classes, workshops, events, and store tours. Check out their website for more information!
Dad. Just saying the word out loud evokes a surprising amount of bliss. To show your old man just how much you appreciate his sometimes-too-hard shoulder pats and oftentimes dubious advice, give him something that will make him feel loved this Father’s Day. Because even if they won’t admit it, dads, too, like feeling all warm and fuzzy once in a while. Now, we know you’re probably thinking that you should get him something traditional like a Rubik’s cube or a hammer, but let’s be honest: that stuff is bor-ing. ‘What could I possibly get?’ you ask? Well, we asked 100 local dads to tell us what they were really hoping for this Father’s Day and their responses are below. We know you will find them both instructive and enlightening.
What are you hoping for this Father’s Day?
“For the love of God, give me something, anything, but a toolbox (read: caramel).” Mark, 52, Milwaukee.
“I don’t know, but if I get one more ‘World’s Greatest Dad’ t-shirt, I am literally going to punch the nearest person in the face (read: caramel).” Larry, 40, West Bend.
“Something that makes me feel like the beautiful man that I am (read: caramel).” Joel, 31, Pewaukee.
“You know, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but sometimes I would really just like to be pampered (read: caramel).” Rick, 60, Delafield.
“As long as there’s beer involved, I’m good (read: Beer & Pretzel Caramel).” Dwayne, 55, New Berlin.
“Some god**** peace and quiet, that’s what I’m hoping for (read: caramel).” John, 44, Shorewood.
“I wants me a gift that’s real man-like (read: caramel).” Earl, 41, Sussex.
“I’m not picky, but I appreciate gifts that are handmade in the USA with 100% organic ingredients, no corn syrup, no preservatives, no artificial flavors, and that don’t come off a conveyor belt (read: Becky’s caramel).” Craig, 45, Westchestertonfieldville.
“Something I don’t have to pretend to like (read: caramel).” Matt, 30, Waukesha.
“Something that makes me feel, just like, loved, man (read: caramel).” Brendon, 28, Milwaukee.
“An Easy-Bake oven would be nice. Is that weird?” (Yes). Ben, 36, Mukwonago.
Local Wauwatosa boy, Luke Robinson, reportedly abandoned a recent Easter Egg Hunt to go off in search of caramel instead. Robinson, aged 8, is reported to have said, “This is dumb, I want caramel,” before stomping off in the opposite direction of the merry spectacle that had just gotten underway at a Wauwatosa park. Many of the other children turned to watch him go, their faces awash with astonishment and something akin to pride. “He’s a real maverick, that one,” mused one of Robinson’s friends before resuming his own quest for the candy colored eggs.
Onlookers confirmed that Robinson began the egg hunt, a neighborhood tradition dating back to 1950, with fervor and excitement. After just one minute of unsuccessful searching, however, onlookers say the boy threw up his hands in frustration and began muttering 8-year-old obscenities including ‘dang’, ‘darn’, ‘gee whiz’, and ‘golly.’ Moments later the boy disappeared behind a wall of bright green shrubs.
Miranda Switchfoot, a local parent who observed the outburst, said Robinson’s behavior was “immature and childish.” When reminded of the boy’s age, Mrs. Switchfoot rolled her eyes and walked off. She could not be reached for further comment.
As Robinson returned to the scene of the egg hunt two hours later, sources say his pockets were overflowing with caramels and he was smiling triumphantly. “He looked absolutely breathtaking…” gushed Lucy Switchfoot, Mrs. Switchfoot’s 7-year-old daughter. When one bewildered parent took Robinson aside to ask him why he didn’t want to hunt for eggs with the rest of the little kids, Robinson reportedly said, “You’re kidding me, right? They’re eggs. And they’re empty.”
When one of the kids asked the boy what was so great about caramel, Robinson had to visibly collect himself. “Caramel,” he supposedly said, “is life itself. Caramel is joy. Caramel caresses the palate and gives flight to the soul. Caramel is my intention.” With that, the boy is said to have quickly departed, leaving the formerly cheerful group to stare dejectedly at their egg-filled baskets.
Becky’s Blissful Bakery is very excited to announce a new partnership with The Women’s Center of Waukesha, Wisconsin and its Violence Prevention Initiative. The Initiative was formed by The Women’s Center Board with a vision of reducing domestic violence, sexual assault, gender violence and child abuse in our communities. Since 1977, The Women’s Center has provided shelter, safety and support to victims of these crimes as well as community education on prevention. The goal of this Initiative is to put more resources into prevention.
Beginning this April, a portion of our caramel sales will help support the Violence Prevention Initiative. We are very excited to be working with The Women’s Center and look forward to creating more awareness about their educational programs and the need to reduce violence in our communities. The services and educational programs provided by The Women’s Center are free to women and their families affected by domestic violence, sexual abuse, and assault. For more information on The Women’s Center or to make a donation, please visit their website.
The weather is bright and bitterly cold when I sit down to chat with Pewaukee’s newest celebrities, the caramel ‘trio’ from Becky’s Blissful Bakery. Members of the now recognizable group include the Original Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate Sea Salt, and Chai Tea caramels. Despite their deliciously busy schedule, the trio was gracious enough to meet with me to talk about their much publicized debut on the Williams Sonoma website last week.
CARAMEL TIMES: “Thanks for joining me guys. First question, how does it feel to be part of the Williams Sonoma elite?”
ORIGINAL SEA SALT: “It feels absolutely surreal! I still have to pinch myself each morning to make sure I’m not dreaming!” Laughs. “No, but seriously, this is huge. We’re in the big leagues now.”
DARK CHOCOLATE SEA SALT: “I still can’t believe it. One minute you’re chillin’ on a thin piece of wax paper, and the next thing you know you’re gracefully adorning the cyber pages of one of the country’s finest gourmet stores. It’s insane!”
CARAMEL TIMES: “What does this achievement mean to you personally? Chai Tea, you wanna jump in here?”
CHAI TEA: “I think I speak for everyone when I say that we are so humbled to be featured among some of the nation’s best gourmet products, especially because we idolized many of them since caramelhood. I still have a picture of Captain Caramel hanging in my living room…he got me through some tough times man.”
CARAMEL TIMES: “Tough times?”
CHAI TEA: “Yeah, I mean, just ‘cuz we’re caramels and not human beings doesn’t mean we don’t experience the same awkwardness and uncertainty during adolescence. I had many moments of self doubt…’Am I soft enough?’…’Will people like the inherent spiciness of my flavor?’…that sort of thing.”
CARAMEL TIMES: “I can understand that. You certainly deserve praise now, what with being handcrafted, preservative-free, and made with 100% organic ingredients.”
ORIGINAL SEA SALT: Laughs. “Thanks, I think so too. This is one small step for us, but one giant step for caramel kind!”
DARK CHOCOLATE SEA SALT: “I think it’s important that young caramels the world over feel motivated and inspired by our success. If we can do it, so can you.”
CARAMEL TIMES: I recently spoke with Sheryl Peterson, one of your biggest and longest supporters. She said she always knew you three were destined for something special. Did you think so as well?”
DARK CHOCOLATE SEA SALT: “Sheryl is a dear friend. And yes, we were aware very early on how unusually delicious we all were. We never got into trouble with people’s fillings, waistlines, or taste buds. People always loved us.”
CARAMEL TIMES: “One last question: is there any rivalry between you guys and the rest of the gang back at the shop?”
ORIGINAL SEA SALT: “Oh no…We’re all in this together. I know the trio’s gotten most of the spotlight recently, but we’re a team and we have to work as one if we ever hope to surpass chocolate as the most beloved of desserts.”
CARAMEL TIMES: “Is that your ultimate goal, then?”
ORIGINAL SEA SALT: Caramel Wink.
Who: Outpost State
What: Customer of the Month!
When: March 2013
Where: Wauwatosa, Wisconsin See Map
Why: “We pride ourselves in being able to offer such a delicious product like Becky’s caramels… Having these special little treats is definitely something that makes our mission to bring quality local products into the community realized…it’s an even bigger find for our customers to discover that it’s a local organic item. It’s a terrific reminder of what skill, hard work, and dedication can produce and it is truly a delightful feeling to know we are a part of that. Our customers always say the boxes make perfect little gifts for any occasion and offering a variety of individual caramels is great for that little bite of sweetness that we all deserve,” Jonathan F, Outpost State Street.
Are you in Wauwatosa? Stop by Outpost State for lunch! They serve up some truly delicious vegan and gluten-free soups all week long!
Madness is in the air, at least according to the US Department of Health and Human Services who recently warned of a likely ‘craziness’ outbreak sometime next month. Hospitals and medical professionals in the Midwest are gearing up for what they refer to as ‘March Madness,’ that month-long period of apparent delirium brought on by feelings of extreme enjoyment and pleasure, usually linked to the consumption of caramel. As the nation’s largest consumer of dangerously good caramel, the Midwest is highly susceptible to such an outbreak. Some are even calling it imminent. “It’s a matter of when, not if,” cautioned Dr. Timothy Buttress, who has treated individuals affected by OCE, or Obsessive Caramel Enjoyment, for the past five years at his Cincinnati clinic. “Just wait,” said Buttress, “as soon as the calendar strikes March, you can expect to see a bunch of loonies roaming the streets, caramels in hand, muttering to themselves.” Or worse yet, muttering to other people, oftentimes about the euphoria felt following their latest caramel experience.
But where’s the harm in that? And does this happily demented state pose a threat to society? Chicago native Patrick Piper seems to think so. “This is a serious problem,” wined Piper, “These weirdos are preventing me from being unhappy… and as an American, don’t I have that right?” It certainly poses an interesting question. Other, more accepting, individuals have all but resigned themselves to the upcoming insanity. “I say live and let live,” opined Angela Pang, a Milwaukee RN whose bountiful girth suggests a rich caramel eating history. According to Ms. Pang, those affected by OCE are innocuous and should be embraced by society. “In fact, I want what they’re on!” Oh Angela…
For those with an intolerance for joy and jubilation, the US Department of Health and Human Services recommends keeping an eye out for individuals exhibiting the following:
– a big, stupid grin
– incessant chuckling (like the really annoying type)
– incomprehensible self-mutterings – but the cheery, infectious kind
– an extremely dazed and bemused appearance
– inappropriate outbursts of joy
– excessive happiness, usually indicated by copious amounts of smiling, giggling and hugging of random individuals
And for those of you who wish to take part in the general revelry that is ‘march madness,’ you can join in the fun by calling 262-327-4111 or by visiting www.beckysblissfulbakery.com. Life’s too short to be sane all of the time.
If you recently did something stupid in your current relationship (you know who you are), the key to your salvation may be easier than you think. Recent studies published by the Good Lovin’ Institute suggest that caramels, those buttery confections capable of bringing a grown man to tears, may be the key to healing any relationship wound. With Valentine’s Day just days away, this comes as good news for those looking for a way to say “I’m a dumb***, forgive me” this February 14.
Researchers confirmed that giving gourmet caramel to an offended partner repaired virtually all relationship discord, past or present, regardless of severity. Study participants were asked to explain how they’ve managed to overcome the bumps on that long and treacherous road we call a relationship. Steve from Massachusetts credited the candy with saving his relationship with his girlfriend Suzie on more than one occasion. “I’ll admit,” he said, “I’ve said some pretty dumb stuff during the past five years with Suzie. I mean really dumb stuff – but always with the knowledge that a good caramel would have my back in the event that I said something extraordinarily moronic.” His girlfriend Suzie confided to study organizers that she would have “dumped his sorry ***” ages ago, had it not been for the sea salt caramels she always received by way of an apology. The blissfully content couple is reported to have just bought their first home in a charming Boston suburb.
Another study participant, a female who prefers to remain anonymous, admitted to frequently egging on her boyfriend to say something particularly hurtful or selfish just to get her hands on a box of Chai Tea Caramels afterward. (Thus proving the old adage that revenge really is sweet). “Is that so wrong?” she reportedly asked her disgusted interviewer.
Perhaps the case that best illustrates the impressive healing power of this sweet is that of Joe Biggins, a Tennessee native with a notoriously wild tongue. “The second I hear something regretful slip out of my mouth, which, let me tell you, is pretty often, I immediately make a mental note to stop and get some caramel from Becky’s.” Joe’s wife, Stacy, told reporters that over the years she has received almost 100 boxes of caramel following her husband’s all too frequent blunders. “He’s a royal screw-up,” Mrs. Biggins is quoted as saying, “but he’s my screw-up.” Take that, ladies…
If you or someone you know has screwed up royally in the past six months, please call (262) 327-4111 or email email@example.com to order your apology caramels today. The future bliss of your relationship may depend on it.
Who: Common Ground Food Co-op
What: Our very first ‘Customer of the Month’
When: February 2013
Where: Urbana, Illinois See Map
Why: “We love [Becky’s] caramels because in addition to being delicious, they are all organic (rare in a candy!) and regionally produced by a small company. By carrying your products, we have the opportunity to offer something unique to our customers and support another small business. When we received our first shipment, we were impressed with the beautiful presentation and the quality of the product. And beer and pretzels in caramel? Crazy! We loved it!” Kristi, Grocery Manager, Common Ground Food Co-op.
Are you in Illinois? Common Ground Food Co-op is having their Grand Opening Celebration February 11 – 17. Stop by to celebrate lower prices and a bigger store! Oh and to get your caramels!
As I am sure most of you know, caramel was created by none other than Kara Melios, the Greek god of water and sugar. The precise origins of this most worshipped of confections, however, is shrouded in mystery – and tragedy.
What we do know is this: sometime around A Really Really Long Time Ago BC, there lived an Arabian princess (a mortal, you understand) named Tuswiit Furyoo who lived in a castle made of sugar. So bright was this fortress that travelers had to wear veils over their faces to even approach it. One day, as Kara Melios was busy patrolling the skies, his eye was caught by the faintest of shimmers far, far below him. Squinting, he peered down to discover the source of this curious twinkle which, as you know reader, was the glorious castle all in white. At this very same moment, the Arabian princess Tuswiit Furyoo threw her regard skyward, beseeching the heavens to release her from the misery that can only come from living in a castle made of sugar. Kara Melios was a bachelor, you see; yet as soon as his immortal eyes met hers, he fell madly deeply in love. I mean literally. He actually fell off the cloud upon which he was perched and tumbled, with such grace, to the earth below. Instead of crying out in fear, Kara Melios shed hot tears of love and joy that rained down upon the castle made of sugar. When he eventually regained consciousness, the castle and his sweet princess were nowhere to be seen. Instead, he found a massive crater, and bubbling inside this crater was the very first caramel, the tragically delicious combination of sugar and hot tears.
Now fast forward through Kara Melios’ suicidal despair to 1886 when a young chap named Milton Hershey decided to start his own candy business in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He named it the Lancaster Caramel Company and was soon selling his candies throughout America and Europe. Chocolate was (and still is, for those with sophisticated taste) only an afterthought for Mr. Hershey.
From Tuswiit Furyoo to Kara Melios to Milton Hershey, the history of caramel is both rich and satisfying. You would do well, dear reader, to keep this in mind the next time you decide to enjoy this ancient treat.
Sources: very helpful.
The truth is finally out – and it’s earth shattering stuff. A recent study by Americans for Universal Caramel Access found that real men actually DO eat caramel. And not just one or two here and there, as is commonly done with such delicacies, but boat loads of the stuff. The study was conducted over a one-year period and is significant news for chest-pounding communities across the globe.
Just who exactly are these real men? And what is so seductive about the caramels they’re eating? The study reported that more and more extremely virile men have come forward to openly admit their love affair with the bite-size buttery bites. “I just felt like I needed to speak out” said one study participant, a man named Rider Jackson who considers himself to be one of the manliest men he knows. “I mean, I’m a pretty macho guy and I just can’t get enough of this stuff,” he said, as he slipped another Salted Beer & Pretzel caramel into his perfectly rugged mouth. Another participant named Thunder Jones, who hauls 50 lb. rocks around all day without his shirt on, had something similar to say. “The second I taste one of these bad boys I feel more alive…as if I could do anything, like straddle a dinosaur or climb Mount Everest.” Both men admitted to eating caramels every day, and not just on special occasions. They even went so far as to denounce other beloved indulgences, including chocolate, cupcakes, and cookies. “Chocolate? That’s girl food, man” drawled Jones.
The publicity surrounding the report is likely to affect caramel consumption not just in America but throughout the world as more and more men come to realize that their manliness depends upon it. Annual caramel sales have already doubled in Scandinavia, a region best known for its helmet-wearing broad-shouldered young lads, following the release of the report two weeks ago. “Instead of racing wolves for sport in sub-zero temperatures, my male friends and I now have caramel eating competitions to survive the long winter evenings. My personal record is 250 caramels in one night and I’ve never felt manlier,” Thor Aksel is quoted as saying. Based on such comments, it is likely we will see similar trends in other countries as caramel eating replaces other manly activities like bull fighting and sumo wrestling.
All of this is great news for caramel companies at home and abroad. “We fervently hope that more men will realize that the only true path to masculinity is through caramel eating,” says the owner of one such local company that is expecting to see sales rise with the approach of Super Bowl XLVII this weekend. For those who still need more convincing, Becky offers the following challenge: “Are you man enough to try one?”
We would like to wish all of our readers and customers a Happy and Healthy New Year! Since so many of us look for ways to be nicer to our bodies during this time, we thought it fitting to share some tips on how to do just that. It’s quite simple, really: eat only the very best caramels in the world (“ahem, Becky’s”). Your taste buds and your waistline will thank you for it!
It’s really all about the syrup. Unlike most caramel companies, Becky’s does not use corn syrup. We repeat: we do not use corn syrup. Let’s take a quick minute to talk about why this is good news for your body. Ingesting too much corn syrup, which most of us unknowingly do, has the potential to thicken our waistlines and cause heart-related health problems down the road. What’s more, there is still debate within the national food and health community over whether or not high-fructose corn syrup contains artificial ingredients. The lesson here? Eat real corn folks, like on the cob.
Fortunately for us all, organic brown rice syrup is here to save the day. OBRS is a natural sweetener and is absorbed by the body more slowly than corn syrup or table sugar. This means that you can eat boxes and boxes of our caramels (only joking) without feeling tired, slow, or grouchy soon thereafter. What’s more, organic brown rice syrup provides the body with needed fiber, sodium, and potassium. It’s a win-win people. So, if your body is in need of some TLC today or any day, give it only the best. Give it Becky’s caramels!
With Christmas just days away, we thought it would be appropriate to do a gift exchange of sorts. Instead of exchanging physical presents, however, we would like you (yes, you!), to exchange your creative and heartfelt ways of saying ‘Thank You’ to those special people in your lives. Before we get to the fun stuff, we must first give credit where credit is due. We plucked this feel-good idea from the folks at Entrepreneur Magazine who asked their readers to share ways of saying ‘Thank You’ to co-workers and colleagues. In the same jolly spirit, we now ask you to tell us how you say ‘Thank You’ to friends and family, teachers and mentors. Doing so will not only put you in the gift-giving spirit, it might also help guide those readers who are still looking for that perfect way to say ‘Thanks.’
Ready, Set, Exchange !!! (Don’t be shy now…)
We will admit, peeling our eyes open at 6am each Saturday morning in December is not our favorite thing. However, as soon as we arrive at the Milwaukee Winter Farmers Market, located in the Tommy Thompson Youth Center at State Fair Park, we are humbly reminded of why we are there – and why we continue to endure those early winter mornings! At a recent Saturday market, we were so overcome by the good things we saw (and tasted!), that we just had to share the joy! So, without further ado, here are 6 things we friggin’ love about this fantastic market – and so should you! :
1. Darn good coffee – To help us get through the early morning, we usually grab a cup of darn good coffee from the guys at Valentine Coffee Co. Their coffee is all organic, fair trade, and unflavored, not to mention aromatic and truly delicious. When you order a cup, it’s made fresh before your eyes, a real treat to behold if you’ve ever wondered just how that coffee machine spits out your morning cup of joe.
2. That warm and fuzzy feeling – You haven’t felt truly ‘warm and fuzzy’ until you’ve gone to the Milwaukee County Famers Market. What do we mean? Well, smiles abound and come naturally to both vendor and customer. Hugs are proffered and accepted throughout the day by grateful buyers and sellers, friends old and new. Don’t believe us? Come see for yourself. At least for us, there’s no ‘faking it’ here; we love selling our caramels at the market and we visibly see that others love being there. We just can’t shake that warm and fuzzy feeling…
3. “La Vie en Green” – We are always impressed and excited by all of the ‘green’ we see going on at this market. For starters, there is green veggie goodness to be found at every corner. Homegrown lettuce, kale, and collards brighten the wintry room with their sparkle and freshness. Nearly every shopper is merrily toting around their reusable market bag before disposing of their compostable coffee lid in the appropriate waste basket. Keep it up, green do-ers!
4. Neighborly love – The use of first names is a must at this market, and don’t you forget it. Each Saturday, expect to be greeted warmly and genuinely by vendors who take the time to chat and get to know their customers. Who knows, with a little luck and a few consistent purchases, you might soon enjoy the honor of being called a “regular!” There is a strong sense of family and community that characterizes this space, and we’re lovin’ that.
5. Soup for You! – Remember that Seinfeld episode featuring the “No soup for you!” scroodge? Have no fear, the guys and gals at the Wisconsin Soup Company are nothing like that crazy soup man. And thank heavens, because this company is making some really good soup (Spicy Tomato & Dill, Mulligatawny, and Cheddar-Corn Chowder to name a few) using all local ingredients and only what’s in season. Look for the white shirts and steaming orange pots!
6. “Have a Good Market” – If you decide to come to this market (have we convinced you yet?), you will surely hear this phrase being passed between vendors. And it’s an important one. By offering our wishes for a successful market to one another, we are acknowledging that we are all in this together. As a whole, we can strengthen and grow the buylocal movement, thereby empowering our community and its citizens. Together, we can build a healthier, happier, and more prosperous community. (There’s that warm and fuzzy feeling again…)
As we looked out across the market last Saturday, we were reminded of the open-air markets of southern France. (Yes, really). Even though it was winter, and even though we weren’t under the warm provencal sun, there was nonetheless a palpable warmth of spirit all around. If you would like to witness or be a part of this magical merriness, please come to the next market on Saturday 12/15 from 8-12pm at the Tommy Thompson Youth Center.
And with that, we would like to wish you all a very Merry Market! See you Saturday folks!
For those readers who haven’t yet completed their holiday shopping, you’re in luck! On Sunday, December 9th, Lakefront Brewery will play host to the Buy Local Gift Fair from noon to 4pm. The event, which is sponsored by Outpost Natural Foods and Lakefront Brewery, will feature over 40 local vendors, including yours truly. Admission is FREE and brewery tours will be available throughout the day. Whether you’re on a quest for gourmet caramels, original artwork, fair trade products, or some really good beer, the Buy Local Gift Fair is the perfect occasion to finish your shopping list and show support for the community.
The event is being put on by Local First Milwaukee, a business alliance made up of independent, locally owned companies and non-profit organizations formed in 2006. Together, they promote the fact that money spent in Milwaukee stays in Milwaukee. Here’s an example: for every $1 spent at a locally owned business, more than half of it is reinvested back into the community. With that money, the city is able to build new roads, hire more teachers, and care for its elderly. This translates to local economic growth and job creation, something we can all be merry about!
So, as you begin to wrap up your holiday shopping, remember that the money you spend has the potential to enrich lives and empower our community. If you would like to celebrate Milwaukee’s unique character and culture, please buy local this holiday season. And don’t forget to attend the Buy Local Gift Fair this Sunday! Anne Lappe, best selling author and public speaker, perhaps said it best when she reminded us all, “Every time you spend money you are casting a vote for the kind of world you want to live in.” So get out there and cast your vote this Sunday! Or we’ll have to put you on the naughty list…
You can find out more about the Buy Local Gift Fair and see a list of vendors at: http://localfirstmilwaukee.com/living-local/buy_local_gift_fair/
Lakefront Brewery has many reasons to be thankful this week. Their Black Friday brew, a one-day only Imperial India-style Dark Ale, sold out within hours of the store’s opening at 8am last Friday morning. Roughly 200 early risers waited in line (outside, mind you) to get a taste of this one of a kind brew. Even more impressive, between 2,500 and 3,000 shoppers passed through the brewery to sample the much sought-after beer and enjoy a facility tour. For those of you who missed out, don’t fret. Lakefront Brewery President Russ Klisch has assured us that the “dark and flavorful” Black Friday brew will be back next year. Now that’s something to celebrate!
As if this isn’t reason enough to be proud, Lakefront Brewery has a birthday coming up! This Sunday, Dec 2, will mark 25 years since the Klisch brothers first opened their malt and hops scented doors in 1987. Since then, they’ve made some praiseworthy achievements. With their seasonal cherry lager (which pairs wonderfully with our Beer & Pretzel caramels, we might add) Lakefront became the first brewery since the prohibition era to bottle fruit beer. In 1996, they introduced Lakefront Organic E.S.B, the first organic beer made with 100% organic malt and hops. And it gets better. The brewery has recently announced a new beer, the Wisconsinite, crafted entirely from ingredients grown in-state. It is the first of its kind in the US and is sure to encourage breweries throughout the country to follow suit!
We at Becky’s Blissful Bakery would like to congratulate Lakefront Brewery on their recent achievements and success. As a business partner, we look forward to continuing to work together to produce tasty combinations that put quality and craftsmanship first.
Cheers to that!
Don’t forget to check out the Buy Local Gift Fair on Sunday Dec. 9 from noon to 4pm at Lakefront Brewery! Admission is FREE! See you there 🙂
With the holiday season quickly approaching, shoppers are hitting the streets and surfing the web in search of that perfect gift for family and friends. As you start to assemble your shopping list, we kindly ask you to keep local businesses in mind. Buying local is not only a great way to support your community and local economy; it also ensures that the gifts you give this holiday season are truly special and one of a kind. Support local companies and everyone benefits!
Not sure what local businesses are in your area? Here are some suggestions for how to find that next great gift: Get in touch with your local Chamber of Commerce for a listing of area small businesses; surf the web for your city’s (or state’s) BuyLocal organization. One of our favorite ways to discover handcrafted quality products is by going to farmers markets, both indoor and outdoor. This is a wonderful way to connect with the community face to face and learn more about supporting local. Perhaps the easiest solution is to stop by those specialty shops in your area and ask! However you choose to do it, we’re certain that you will feel a bit merrier this holiday season knowing that you’ve done your part to support local! Happy Shopping, and remember to have a blissful day!