Monday, July 30, 2012

It's a sad week

It's with a sad heart that Susan and I are announcing that I (Kate) am leaving This Charming Candy on Friday August 3rd.

I'm not suffering from Lindsey Lohan-style exhaustion (that would be a way more fun thing to write about), it's more about how hard it is to balance work and family life in a way that works for me. I fully expect that Susan will make This Charming Candy a success that eventually takes over the world and everyone will have delicious candy in their pockets at all times. Or, more accurately, in their bellies. :-)

I've learned SO MUCH over the last 3-4 years about all the ins and outs of running a business and customer service and what I can handle and more. I wouldn't be the person I am today without Susan and all y'all out there who have eaten our candy, been our taste-testers, fans on Facebook, followers on Twitter, and lent their support.

I'll miss you.

Friday, July 27, 2012

When You Need Lollipops In A Hurry

Many of our domestic packages ship via USPS First Class service. It’s inexpensive and, in our experience, pretty quick and reliable. But there are times when waiting a few days isn’t an appealing option – maybe you’re doing some last minute gift-buying, for instance.

We’ve always accommodated customers who request a shipping service upgrade, but of course it takes time & communication back and forth about the available options – and when time is of the essence, that might not be so appealing for you either!

So it’s welcome news that Etsy is finally, finally, enabling sellers to provide more than one shipping speed if they wish to. Technically, this is a beta test for Etsy - we're among a small number of sellers who have signed up to test these features before they're made available to all sellers.

At the bottom of most of our listings, you’ll now see a selection for overnight shipping. We’ll be using USPS Express service, which takes one business day and offers delivery on Saturdays.
shipping speeds

To make it as easy on customers as possible, we’ve set the same rate for this service for all items, regardless of how many you purchase (that’s what the text, “if shipped with another item, $0.00” means). So whether you’re buying one Mixed Bag or two dozen Hazelnut Coffee lollipops, the expedited price is the same.

If your order contains few items and/or you’re shipping to a destination that’s close to Seattle, this price will probably be higher than it needs to be – at your request we’ll refund the excess postage.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tasty Art Gallery

We’re excited to let our customers in North Seattle know that our lollipops are now available at the Tasty gallery in Greenwood!

Sheri and her husband have created a wonderful supportive environment for Seattle’s alternative artist community and they have several art shows scheduled for the rest of this year. Read this interview for more details about Tasty and its upcoming events. Briefly:
  • Opening July 13th is Creatures Featured. It’s our first tribute show, raising money to send to AmeriCorps St. Louis.
  • September 14th we open Erratic Expressions, a mixed media show
  • October - the Fairy Tales and Fables show will feature paintings of storybook characters.
  • November 9th we open a show based on Greek Mythology called Tantrums, Tragedy’s & Temptations
  • The December exhibit will be the 3rd annual Under $100 show, selling affordable (and often underpriced) art to the excited public.
Hooray for art!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Thanks Renegade SF!

OMG, y'all. Renegade SF this weekend was wonderful and amazing! We are both worn out, so here's our weekend in pictures (and captions).

This was the Renegade sign as we drove into Fort Mason Center. Incidentally, Fort Mason is right on the water, and has a TON to do - way more than I expected. Plus you could see Alcatraz and Angel Island and the Golden Gate Bridge from the piers. I'm planning on checking it out more. 

Poppyhearts won in our minds for the best booth. Susan and I both loved how much her booth looked like a little boutique, from its hard walls, sign that angled out over the crowd so you could see it from far away, to her fabulous decorations and tables (check out that mirror in the second of these 2 photos), and obvious check-out location. 

Susan and I both like math (and were both math majors in college), so our booth mate, Push/Pull Designs was a PERFECT match. Check out those earrings in the background and the domes in the foreground. Swooooooon.

Tea! There was yummy tea from T-we. :) They were awesome and we were enamored.

It's worth sharing the photo of this sign just to point out that I saw someone writing all this in chalk by hand on Saturday morning. My mind is BOGGLED.

And last but not least, here are the Spice Racks we brought with us, all set up on Saturday morning....

... and here is Dorklandia buying our last one on Sunday afternoon.

We had a blast, and we hope you did too. See you soon, SF!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Renegade SF Today & Tomorrow!

That's right everyone, Susan and I are selling lollipops today and tomorrow at Renegade SF! We'll be there along with a ton of other fabulous vendors selling some seriously amazing handcrafted goods.

We hope to see you!

Friday, July 20, 2012


Let’s face facts. Kate & I are tea fiends. I personally love discovering creative flavor blends in almost any food, from tea to gelato.

At Urban Craft Uprising, we were delighted to discover loose teas from Flying Bird Botanicals of Bellingham, WA – Kate picked up some green jasmine tea and I snagged a white ginger lemon blend.

I can’t vouch for Kate’s, other than it smelled super good, but mine is really smooth and makes a fantastic afternoon tea – white tea being quite low in caffeine compared to black or even green tea. Scout does a great job of sourcing her ingredients, and it was a pleasure to meet and talk tea with her. I hope we’ll run into her again! And if not, of course she ships from her Etsy shop.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Watermelon and Basil

I don’t normally blog my lunches – but given that Watermelon-Basil is one of our most popular flavors I knew this was worth sharing with you.

It’s a simple salad of heirloom tomato, chunks of watermelon, basil chiffonade, and feta cheese crumbles. Top with a sprinkle of sel de mer, and you’re good to go!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Crystal Catastrophe!

One tip for successful hard candy making is to use a damp pastry brush to wash down the sides of your pan with a little bit of water. This helps prevent crystals from forming, which can revert your glossy syrup into a crunchy granulated wreck.

In my years of making hard candy lollipops, I’ve only ever had one batch crystalize – and that was back when I was still just learning the ropes at home. Until last month, that is… 

I was taking the temperature of the syrup and as I moved the probe across the pan, I heard a strange, faint creaky sound. I looked more closely, and I could actually see sugar crystals forming on the bubbling surface of the syrup. This batch was a goner. I grabbed a sheet pan, sprayed it quickly with nonstick spray, and poured out the syrup into it to cool off before discarding it.
crystallized lollipop syrup

The clumpy crust that remained in the pan also shows off that crystallized residue very nicely:

On reflection, I’m pretty sure I know what happened. There are several prep tasks that I do while a batch is cooking, such as putting the sticks into the molds. I was running a little behind schedule, so I turned the burner off temporarily while I continued getting set up. The crystals probably formed around the rim of the pan just above the level of the syrup. When I turned the burner back on, I should have checked for crystal formation.

In fact, I probably should have just turned the burner way down so the cooking process wasn’t interrupted.

Well, and in fact, I should have been a little more organized in the first place, and not started cooking the batch before I was ready :-)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Renegade SF is July 21-22

We’ve barely gotten over the excitement from Urban Craft Uprising’s summer show in Seattle, and Renegade San Francisco is right around the corner. Admission is free! Bay Area friends, we’d love to see you. We’re in booth #9!


When: 11 am – 7 pm, July 21-22, 2012

Where: Fort Mason Festival Pavillion, Marina Blvd & Buchanan St.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lovely Lollies

We're seriously flipping out today - our Watermelon-Basil, Salted Caramel and Tangerine-Clove lollipops are featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer's Food section!

The feature is print-only as far as we can tell. My mom kindly photographed the newspaper though:
This Charming Candy lollipops featured in Philadelphia Inquirer
photo by Susan's mom

The text is:
"Lovely Lollies

The charm of these treats is their flavor combos: tangerine clove, watermelon basil, and my personal favorite, salted caramel. Are you ever too old for a flavor like vanilla cardamom? Artisan candymakers from Seattle produce these gluten-free and dairy-free lollipops, available individually or in custom orders for parties.

This Charming Candy lollipops, $3.25 each at Capogiro, 119 S 13th Street, or"

While we're mentioning Capogiro, the shop mentioned in the blurb, did you know they have been voted best gelato in the world? Congratulations to them!

EDIT 7/16/12

The blurb is now available online -

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

photo by Kevin Keeker
We hope all our American customers are enjoying the holiday!

I dug up this photo from the archive... Back when the Celebration Time variety pack had only 3 flavors, we posed them in front of a photograph of fireworks - a picture Kevin had taken the previous July 4th. I've always loved this picture.

Have a happy 4th, all.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Urban Craft Uprising Vendor: Estrella Soap

Kate can confirm that one of my craft show weaknesses is going a little crazy buying handmade soap & other bath & body products. I'm really partial to cold-processed soaps like those that Estrella make. At the last winter UCU show, I got a few different bars of their soap and my favorite scent was Peppermint Mocha. My shower smells like Andes mints after I use it :-)

I'm curious if Jesse & Nicky will have any new scents this summer...

Monday, July 2, 2012

Urban Craft Uprising is Coming Soon!

We're very excited to have been accepted to this summer's Urban Craft Uprising show in Seattle. This is one of our absolute favorite weekends of the summer. It's a great feeling: being surrounded by so many talented artists & craftspersons, and getting to interact with the wonderful crowds who value independent, handmade goods. We hope you'll check it out & pick up some lollipops...

This summer's poster for UCU is just gorgeous!
Check out the vendor list - there are several returning favorites and new additions to the lineup.

WHEN: July 7-8, 2012 from 11am - 5pm each day
WHERE: Exhibition Hall, Seattle Center