Liz Gutman and Jen King started Brooklyn-based candy shop Liddabit Sweets with one goal in mind—to indulge their creativity by offering unique, handmade candy in New York City.
“ For us, the most delicious stuff is made slow and in small batches and by hand. ”
Their commitment to quality extends to everything, from how they source their ingredients to the way they treat their employees.
"We work with local and other small, family-run businesses whenever possible," explains Liz. "We get our cream and milk from Ronnybrook Dairy upstate; the beer for our beer and pretzel caramels comes from Brooklyn Brewery. Our honey comes from Tremblay Apiaries in the Finger Lakes region, and our maple syrup is from Crown Maple in New York as well. No offense, Vermonters."
With such a focus on supporting local, family-run businesses, it’s no wonder that Liz and Jen treat their employees like family. The Liddabit Sweets staff is highly skilled, with backgrounds in pastry and confectionary, but the most important thing to Liz and Jen is creating a feeling of family. “It was really important to both Jen and I to create a company culture that was friendly but hardworking and collaborative and really just a place that we would’ve wanted to work when we were working for other people.”
But the care they put into their products doesn’t come cheap. That’s what led to an explanation on the Liddabit Sweets website of the cost of making one of their candy bars. They knew they needed to educate their customers on the details of how their products are made. Liz explains, “This is what it costs in order for you to buy a handmade candy bar made with premium ingredients, that’s made in New York City. All of those things are expensive.”
From the Heart
So what does all this love and care make? Delicious caramels, candy bars, honeycomb candy, and popcorn. More than anything else, “food is a direct manifestation of love and caring for somebody else.” Liz vows, “It’s my mission in life to make sure that every single person who deals with us walks away happy.”
A big part of what makes people happy is discovering what makes Liddabit Sweets special—their combination of serious technique while not taking themselves too seriously. Liz says, “I think the fact that we combine these nostalgic flavors from childhood, elevate them, and then add our own twist on them is a bit different from what other folks are doing.”
And that approach has proven successful for Liddabit Sweets. They’re not following trends, they’re following their hearts.
Connect with the Candy Maker
Liz Gutman and Jen King are the team behind Liddabit Sweets in Brooklyn, and are the co-authors of The Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook, a 2013 IACP Cookbook Award finalist. You can reach Liz on Twitter and at the shop.