Friday, August 31, 2012

What I’ve Been Reading

1) A little love letter about my favorite video game. My friends can affirm that no pretext is too thin for me to invite myself over to play!
Why Rock Band 3 is One of the Greatest Games Ever Made
"Rock Band 3 is the epitome of a party game. No other co-op mode has captured crowd-pleasing entertainment as impeccably as Harmonix’s definitive rhythm title; no other rhythm game could so magnetize and entrance its onlookers, or make them so eager to join in the fun."
2) I'm really impressed by this blog post from Etsy's VP of Technical Ops about recent site outages:
Demystifying Site Outages
"I wrote this blog post to give you the confidence you deserve that we take outages seriously, are willing to give detailed information about them, and that our aim is to learn from each one in order to lessen the possibility of another in the future."
3) I’m occasionally a science nerd, and found this article about the connections between the evolution of human speech and snoring / sleep apnea really fascinating. Also possibly related, and this is something I do with embarrassing frequency, getting food or liquid “down the wrong pipe”. I feel vindicated.
Generation Apnea
"Homo sapiens differed from Neanderthals by developing a flatter face, a smaller jawbone, and a tongue that descends deeper into the throat than in any other mammal. With this new hardware, humans were able to move beyond making simple grunts… But the positioning of the tongue in the Homo sapiens mouth complicates the acts of eating, drinking, and breathing. Food could literally go down the wrong pipe, a biological problem unique to modern humans… The longer tissues of the soft palate at the back of the throat made it possible for the airway to become blocked after a routine exhalation, which could start the cycle of sleep apnea."

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lollipops + Wedding Cake

Our customer Wendy and her photographer kindly shared this gorgeous photo of her wedding cake, adorned with lollipops:

Photo generously shared with permission of
Kelly Wilde, June Lion photography,

I love the jaunty angles of the lollipops, and how their smoothness interacts with the texture of the frosting…
If you’ve used our lollipops in a creative way, we’d love to see your photographs– contact

By the way, our calendar is starting to fill up with fall wedding orders. If you’d like to ensure you’ve got lollipops for your guests, contact us at the same email address linked above and let us know your event date & desired flavors!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

September Schedule for Local Pickups

As we recently mentioned, Local Pickup service for Seattle customers is transitioning to be by-appointment on Sundays and Mondays. Turns out September is a bit hectic, and there are upcoming days when local pickups are canceled:
Sunday and Monday, Sept 2 & 3 – this is Labor Day weekend. Enjoy the holiday!
Sunday and Monday, Sept 9 & 10 – we’ll be attending the Philly Candy Show. Very excited about this, by the way!
Sunday Sept 30 – I’ll be out of town.
Pickups are on as usual for Sept 16, 17, 23 and 24. Thanks for your understanding!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Props to this Popsicle Maker

Our eagle-eyed friend Marika sent us this photo she snagged at a Davis, CA farmers’ market. It’s the menu of a frozen popsicle maker:


Flavors include:

  • Melon Horchata
  • Strawberry Basil Lemonade
  • Kaffir Lime & Avocado
  • Apricot Lavender
  • Hibiscus Mint

We’re always on the lookout for our virtual colleagues in the dessert renaissance that’s bringing the world so many incredible flavor combinations these days. We don’t even know the name of this business, but we’re genuinely happy they’re out there. Hi there!

If you spot something awesome like this in your travels, drop us a line. We’d love to know about it.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Customer Service No-No

Here’s one way to address being treated terribly by a company – when other avenues have been exhausted, write a protest song and make a cute video explaining the situation.

Read more on Wikipedia about “United Breaks Guitars”. Kudos to United, at least, for seizing the opportunity to fold this embarrassing incident into their internal training process. Unfortunately, it’s not clear that those lessons were assimilated. A more recent problem evidently involves losing track of an unaccompanied minor.

Even with a “customer service” department of one person (who also handles the cooking, bookkeeping, marketing, operations management, order fulfillment… you get the picture) This Charming Candy tries to treat customers like we’d want to be treated ourselves. We hope none of you ever have a problem with our service anywhere near what Dave Carroll or that girl’s family experienced. We hope you’ll hold us accountable if you do, and we certainly hope to produce a satisfactory outcome without anyone needing to resort to catchy songwriting!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Lollipop Dress-up

One of the things that I enjoy about our new line of party favor lollipop wrappers is seeing familiar flavors dressed up in new colors. This weekend, I put the electric purple Triple Berry lollies into the spring green “happy birthday” bags instead of their usual yellow ones.

Unfortunately, my lighting abilities and photo taking skills are pretty much, well, terrible. So this photo of them in their “normal” and their “party” outfits doesn’t look as lovely as in real life. But this was the first time I’d seen Triple Berry in spring green and I really thought they looked smashing.

Triple Berry flavored lollipops in "happy birthday" wrappers

Monday, August 20, 2012

Ninja Themed 7th Birthday Party

A couple of years ago, a few of our lollipops participated in what turned out to be a spectacularly lovely Valentine’s Day party, styled by Anders Ruff Custom Designs and photographed by Becca Bond Photography.

So when they contacted us this year and invited us to participate in their ninja-themed boys’ 7th birthday party, we were totally on board. This party’s already been written up at Hostess With the Mostess and Kara’s Party Ideas, and do go be wow’ed by the details about the theme, décor, party activities, and menu!

Our opaque yellow Pineapple Heaven lollipops fit this color scheme nicely. They were part of a “Candy Take-Out Station” I’ll just share a couple of photos:


The main party room above really shows the great color scheme of red, yellow and black. I love Anders Ruff’s style and vision. And here are our lollipops, ready for take-out at the Candy station! The cute little flags on the sticks give them a whole new look.

Ninjago1  Ninjago2

This party was styled by Anders Ruff Custom Designs and photographed by Becca Bond Photography. Great stuff – we’re proud to have taken part. And P.S. Happy Birthday to Ninja Jeffrey :-)

Friday, August 17, 2012

What I've Been Reading
“To rent a fully equipped kitchen of your own or build one out is a costly venture: Equipment for a very basic commercial kitchen can run $50,000 or more... Add in plumbing, electrical, complex “fire suppression” systems, inspection and the permitting costs, and you’re talking at least a half a million dollars... For low-margin products, the economics of doing it all yourself just doesn’t work.”
“Mike Tetreault has spent an entire year preparing obsessively for this moment. He's put in 20-hour workdays, practiced endlessly, and shut down his personal life. Now the percussionist has 10 minutes to impress a Boston Symphony Orchestra selection committee. A single mistake and it's over. A flawless performance and he could join one of the world's most renowned orchestras.”
“What’s fascinating is how Beatty combined the masculine prowess associated with promiscuity, yet used it the way that we usually think of women and sex in Hollywood: to get ahead. He slept with co-stars, slept with producers, and when a female critic panned Lilith, he purportedly slept with her, too.”

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Changes to Local Pickup Service

Last summer, we began offering a free local pickup and walk-in sales service for Seattle customers on Mondays from 4pm – 7pm at our rental kitchen, the lovely Wandering Café in the Maple Leaf neighborhood.

Now that Kate has left This Charming Candy we’re no longer supporting spontaneous walk-in sales, which were pretty rare anyway.

Local pickups are transitioning to be by appointment only, and can be scheduled on Sundays or Mondays between 4pm – 7pm. Whether you place your order via Etsy or through email, just request local pickup and we’ll get a time & date squared away with you.

photo of the Wandering Café from Maple Leaf Life

We’ll keep you informed when there are known dates when we can’t offer local pickup. Thanks for your understanding, and see you soon!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Labels, Then and Now

When cleaning out a cabinet to make room for some supplies Kate sent me, I discovered a small pile of labels that I used before This Charming Candy was even a business!

Back when I was making candy as a hobby and giving samples to friends & neighbors for feedback, back before we had a brand identity in mind, I used my home printer to create extremely simple round labels:

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Tangerine-Clove was one of the first flavors I ever created. Root Beer Float and Salted Caramel came quite a bit later. I think these labels must have been from the spring or summer of 2009. As we don’t yet have plans for a company museum, I decided it was enough to take a photograph, and I recycled these sheets of labels :-)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Blueberry Pico de Gallo

Substitute blueberries for tomatoes, and red for while onion and get:

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jalapeno pepper (not pictured because I forgot to buy one)


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My cutting board looks like a crime scene:

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A delicious, delicious crime scene!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Happy Birthday To…

Have you seen the latest addition to our event label lineup?

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Photo by Heather Immoor

Aren't they so lovely? If you've got a birthday party coming up, we can dress our already gorgeous lollipops in these cheerful spring-green wrappers bearing the message “happy birthday”.

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Photo by Heather Immoor
Available in our Etsy shop; just name your flavor and let us know your party date at checkout!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Welcome to the New This Charming Candy

Same as the old This Charming Candy!
photo of Susan by Kevin Keeker
Yes, today’s the first day of my solo flight as the owner and doer-of-everything at This Charming Candy. But the important things aren’t changing: I’m still making the best hard candy lollipops you’ve ever tasted. I’m still shipping them with lightning quickness. And I’m still trying to find enough hours in the day to drink all the tea I possibly can.

In the short term, while I get used to having my workload doubled (!) I’m pretty sure the frequency of blog posting will be closer to 3x/week than the 5x/week that Kate & I strived for. One thing I haven’t decided is whether the style of blogging will change. Kate & I both loved writing for the blog and the “voice” we used was a blend of our two styles and it was intentionally not very personal. I may start enlarging the scope to occasionally share my perspective on the transition from partnership to flying solo.

In any case, I’m eager to hear your thoughts about this blog and how it can become more interesting to you. Comments are welcome.

Oh and one last time… Dear Kate:
thanks closeup
photo by Kevin Keeker