Tuesday, July 28, 2009

About This Charming Candy

Everyone deserves a 10-minute treat. Including – make that, especially – adults.

Kate and Susan, the founders of This Charming Candy, love watching people smile when they taste our handmade lollipops. Maybe it’s because our flavors are a little more sophisticated than what’s available from mass-production candy makers. Maybe it’s the way lollipops recall a more playful time in our lives. All we know is that we’re on a mission to bring a little charm to your day in the form of sugar-on-a-stick, and it seems to be working.

Kate and Susan have been friends for over 10 years and have so much in common it’s scary. We’ve both been mathematicians, librarians, and have escaped from corporate life in big high-technology companies before deciding to go into business together. We both love to cook, so it’s no surprise to our families and friends that we’d choose to do something culinary.

But really, we swear we aren’t the same person.

Kate lives in Silicon Valley, but she left her heart in Seattle. When she’s not obsessing over food and lollipops she reads loads of books, trains for a half-marathon, raises her small child with her husband, and occasionally finds time to update her blog (though that happens less and less lately).

Susan and her husband live in and love Seattle. She can frequently be found going to hear local and non-local independent bands in her favorite clubs, and cheering the Rat City Roller Girls to victory. In her vanishing spare time, she aspires to co-publish an original card game with a friend.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Tasting Party: Flavor Recognition

We got some great data from the tasting party last week. If you were there, you know that we gave you a form to fill out that asked you to rank the flavor and to guess which flavor it actually was. How identifiable were the flavors? These were the most recognized flavors (scoring 50% or higher), in descending order:
  • Coffee
  • Bubble Gum
  • Salted Caramel
  • Coconut-Caramel
  • Cucumber-Melon
  • Jasmine
  • Root Beer
  • Lemon
  • Pistachio-Marshmallow
  • Watermelon
  • Vanilla-Cardamom
  • Cherry
We also noticed some interesting trends in the almost-but-not-quite answers.
  • Fruit flavors were often confused with other fruit flavors.
  • Margarita tasted like salt.
  • Mint, ginger, coconut, and clove dominated their flavor blends.
  • Root beer and root beer float were really hard to tell apart. Go figure.
  • Teaberry tasted like root beer to many people.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tasting Party!

We had a lollipop tasting party for some friends last Saturday. Mostly: yay, party! but also, we needed quantitative data to help us tell which flavors were the best and how recognizable they were. It was great to see and talk to everyone who could make it, and I am amazed at how much useful data we gathered! I'll post pictures here as I get permission from the folks in 'em.

Photos by Kevin Keeker

Playing Around With Pictures

We're obviously going to need to take a lot of photos of lollipops in the near future. We've been playing around with it a little bit, to see what we like and what we don't. Here's an example.

Photo by Kevin Keeker