Friday, July 30, 2010

Updated USA Map

A million years ago (or six months-ish ago), we posted a map of the US, showing all of the states that we'd shipped to. At that point, it was about half of them.

Tonight, for giggles, I re-did that exercise. We've shipped to all but 8 states: Maine, New Hampshire, Delaware, Mississippi, Arkansas, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. Also, we've shipped to 4 Canadian provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Nova Scotia. Next year: Canada. The year after that: The World! Or, uh, something.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Susan and I remain firmly convinced that lollipops are a great way to spread happiness through sugar on a stick. Just look at how happy she is making them:

photo by Kevin Keeker

Another reason we both like this photo is because it shows her pouring out the syrup with her own hands - there's some technology (we're using a stove and a candy funnel), but these aren't mass-produced machine-made lollipops. They are made with care and with our own hands. We taste-test each batch to make sure they meet our criteria. Does this take time? Definitely. Is it worth it? We think so, and when we watch people try our lollipops, they certainly seem to think so too.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


In our Etsy profile, I mention that watching Susan making lollipops fascinates me. Part of the reason is I love watching the color mix itself into the sugar during the boil. Kevin did a great job capturing that in this shot:

Can you spot both colors? Any guess what flavor this is?

Photo by Kevin Keeker

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pouring a Birthday Cake Lollipop

I love pictures of the syrup being poured into the lollipop molds. Here's a slightly grainy photo of a Birthday Cake lollipop being poured:

And yes, Susan puts the neon candy confetti pieces in each mold by hand before starting to cook the syrup.

Photo by Kevin Keeker

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lollipops and Food Science

This is a guest post from Karen, a friend of This Charming Candy who was inspired to make her own lollipops. Thanks Karen!

Thanks to reading about Susan's exploits with her lollipops through Facebook from even before This Charming Candy existed, my curiosity over making these treats at home was piqued.

On the surface, it didn't seem difficult. Heat sugar/corn syrup/water mixture to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Add color and flavoring. Pour into molds. What could be easier? Childbirth, for one thing. At least I had the benefit of drugs during that experience.

It turns out, making hard candy is a lot like playing Mouse Trap. You end up arguing with your brother about who gets to turn the crank to start the contraption. (At least that is the way it went in my house.)

OK, really, you could have everything set up in what you thought was the correct way, but there could be one or two things that were just out of skew that could make the whole thing go pear-shaped.

For example when I first started, I bought a liquid flavor enhancer to go along with my flavor oils. Not realizing that adding extra liquid after boiling the water out of the sugar mixture basically went against all that is sacred in lollipop-dom, I created tasty treats that were not quite hard enough. The technical term for this is "bendy".

I tried adding the liquid enhancer during the cook. It turns out any acid added during this phase creates a substance that is sort of like the adhesive used to stick gift cards/credit cards to least before it sort of hardens. This condition is technically known as "booger".

After this and consulting with Susan, I realized my answer lie within powdered acid. Now I am in the phase where I am trying to find the right mix for each flavor. How to make candy delicious without field-stripping taste buds is a time consuming business.

Now maybe I should look for a job with the pharmaceutical industry.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Artistically Arranged Sweethearts

Kevin Keeker had the opportunity to hang out with Susan in the kitchen for a bit last month. We'll be showing off some of his handiwork over the next few days.

Personally, I love this picture of all the piles of Sweethearts; they swoop around so elegantly.

photo by Kevin Keeker

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Adventure Pack Photo Group

I had an urge recently to start creating little photo groups of our lollipops. This group of our Adventure Pack flavors is still a work in progress, but I like it.

photos by Kevin Keeker

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Good Morning, Sunshine!

bag of Breakfast Tray lollipops with chrome toaster

The Breakfast Tray lollipops are leaning oh-so-casually against this handsome chrome toaster, winking at you, just daring you to have candy for breakfast for a change. Or maybe that’s breakfast as usual, depending on how things work in your household. We don’t judge :-)

Oh! Those cheeky suckers hopped into the toaster to taunt you some more:

bag of Breakfast Tray lollipops in chrome toaster

photo by Kevin Keeker

Monday, July 19, 2010

Nutrition Facts

We've gotten asked a few times about the number of calories in our delicious lollipops (in addition to are they vegan, gluten-free, and kosher [so you don't have to click through: they're only gluten-free]).

Before I make the big reveal, however, let me say that the information in this blog post is only our estimate. Any official numbers would have to come from a professional firm like Food Consulting Company, and we're just not big enough for that yet.

Our estimates are that each lollipop is about 50 calories, all of which come from sugar/carbs. There are no vitamins or minerals in our lollipops. Like I said above: this is an estimate only, and shouldn't be treated as a hard-and-fast fact.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Care and Feeding of Your Lollipops

Hard candy’s goal in life is to slurp water out of the atmosphere. If you’ve bought lollipops from us, then you may have noticed what we call our “care and feeding” statement on the back label:

Heat and humidity are the enemies of hard candy!

For maximum freshness, store your lollipops in this zip-top bag.

closeup of label on bag of lollipops closeup of label on bag of lollipops

The main storage issues for hard candy are heat and humidity. You know how if you store cough drops in the bathroom, they start to get a little sticky and wrinkled from the wrappers, but they still taste fine? They're probably just picking up moisture from shower steam, etc.

As long as the lollipops are not stored in direct sunlight, sitting on top of a space heater, or stored in a refrigerator (which is a humid environment), etc., they'll do ok. In our experience, lollipops can be stored at room temperature in airtight containers for a few months. We ship them to you in a zip-top bag to help with that.

photos by Kevin Keeker

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Kate’s Visit Wrap-up

Kate’s leaving this morning to go back to California. In honor of her visit, I want to share the many many awesome things that happened during her visit to Seattle. It’s wonderful when TCC North Campus and South Campus get to be together!

This Charming Candy's booth at Urban Craft Uprising

  • The Breakfast Tray lollipops had a successful debut at Urban Craft Uprising – people seemed excited about the new flavors.
  • Kate became a licensed food handler for the state of Washington, and we worked together on Tuesday to make more Breakfast Trays and Spice Racks.
  • We watched Never Been KissedTWICE – and laughed ourselves into a stupor both times while shouting out all our favorite lines.
  • At least three people asked us during UCU if our company name was related to The Smiths song “This Charming Man” (answer: HECK YEAH).
  • We went to The Big Picture theater with a couple of friends and ate our own Blood Suckers while watching The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.
  • We set up a kick-ass command center in my basement as ground zero for all our other work.
  • On Tuesday our Salted Caramel Special Event Subscription was featured in the Etsy Finds email & blog post.
Bye for now, Kate! Don't be a stranger!

photo of This Charming Candy’s booth at Urban Craft Uprising by Joyce Hwang

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Special Occasion Subscriptions

There are a few times a year that you need a gift or some candy on hand. Birthdays. Holidays. Anniversaries. A yearly family trip. You know what (and when) they are. In our Special Occasion Subscription you will get 1 dozen Salted Caramel lollipops four times per year. You tell us when you need them and we'll ship them one week prior to the date.

Visit This Charming Candy on Etsy today to get yours!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Facelift For the Spice Rack

Check out the recent updates to the packaging for the lovely lollies of the Spice Rack, our best selling collection. Not only are the labels even more awesome than they used to be, I prefer the lighter background in the new photos. So it’s also an upgrade to the photography: WIN WIN.


Salted Caramel lollipop Tangerine-Clove lollipop Vanilla-Cardamom lollipop

The labels were charcoal with spicy orange text. From now on, the labels are spicy orange with charcoal text:


Salted Caramel lollipop Tangerine-Clove lollipop vanilla-cardamom lollipop

As usual, all credit goes to Justine Kamionsky for the gorgeous branding design and creative vision, and to Kevin Keeker for the beautiful photography!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

UCU Location

We’ve mentioned a few times that Urban Craft Uprising takes place today & tomorrow in Exhibition Hall at Seattle Center.

Specifically, Exhibition Hall is in the basement of the Pacific Northwest Ballet building on Mercer Street, roughly across from Teatro Zinzanni. We are so excited to see you there!

Urban Craft Uprising - sign at Seattle Center

Friday, July 9, 2010

Shopping at Urban Craft Uprising: The Details

Once upon a time, I worked at my high school newspaper. That's where I learned to cover the basic facts of a story. What's the story? You can get scrumptious lollipops at Urban Craft Uprising tomorrow and Sunday! The kicker: both Susan AND Kate will be making a rare joint appearance.

Urban Craft Uprising, as Susan can attest, is an awesome and huge show full of handmade goodies. There are swag bags for the first 100 attendees and hourly giveaways! UCU's blog has a ton of vendor features - we can't begin to talk about how awesome everyone is.

Who: This Charming Candy (Susan and Kate)
What: Selling lollipops at Urban Craft Uprising
Where: The Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, spot 21
When: July 10-11, 11 am - 5 pm
Why: Because you love candy and other handmade goodies!
How: By hook or by crook, car, train, or plane! Um, I mean we accept cash and checks and Pay Pal mobile.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

New Kid On The Block

The Spice Rack, our first lollipop collection, was recently spotted hanging out with the Breakfast Tray, our newest collection. I like to imagine that the Spice Rack is offering words of wisdom to the new kid whose craft show debut will be Urban Craft Uprising

bags of Spice Rack and Breakfast Tray lollipops

“Stand up straight… smile at the nice people… be confident about how great you taste!”

Ok, I guess I have a pretty weird imagination. Come to Urban Craft Uprising and be nice to the Breakfast Tray!

photo by Kevin Keeker

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Buckets of Candy

This is only a small portion of the buckets of candy we have ready and waiting for Urban Craft Uprising this weekend. See if you can spot the Love Triangles, Breakfast Trays, Spice Racks, and Adventure Packs! (Don't worry Celebration Time fans - we'll have plenty of those too. They're just not in this picture.)

photo by Kevin Keeker

Stop by our UCU booth this weekend!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pistachio-Marshmallow in Process

Susan made another batch of scrumptious Pistachio-Marshmallow lollipops yesterday, and resident photographer Kevin Keeker was there to capture the magic! I love the color swirling of yellow and blue make green going on in this picture.

photo by Kevin Keeker

Visit us at UCU this weekend and see the finished product for yourself!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Nothing New Under The Sun?

pistachio-marshmallow flavored lollipop

Man, every time I make Pistachio-Marshmallow lollipops, two things happen:

  1. Heather, the cake decorator at Starry Nights (the kitchen where I make all the candy), says something like, “Ohh that smells so good! You’re making my favorite flavor again, aren’t you?”
  2. I fall in love with their color all over again

Recently, I found out from a culinary student that she made pistachio-flavored fresh marshmallows in one of her pastry classes. She was amazed at how well the two flavors worked together – as are we. So even if This Charming Candy isn’t the only place in the world that took a chance on this flavor combination, I’m quite happy that we offer this unusual and loveable lollipop.

You can get Pistachio-Marshmallow and all our other flavors on Etsy or at Urban Craft Uprising this weekend!

photo by Kevin Keeker

Friday, July 2, 2010

Leaping Lollipops!

We had fun taking pictures of our Breakfast Tray and Spice Rack lollipops last weekend. Check this one out - they've just popped out of the toaster:

Come buy some Breakfast Tray lollipops at Urban Craft Uprising on July 10 & 11!

photo by John Karr

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Crafty Sweets!

I kind of love the cute little graphic that they're using for Urban Craft Uprising this year. As purveyors of artisan sweets, we love the idea of pie and cake and donuts crafting! (Added later: Susan just told me that CakeSpy drew this picture. She'll also be at UCU.)

If you're in the Seattle area on July 10-11, please stop by and purchase your favorite collection!