DO IMAGES of the Candyman still haunt you every time you taste honey or hear a bumblebee buzzin’ nearby?
Well, forget about that fool, and look out for these candy women instead: twenty-something twins Samantha and Chealsea Miller, who go by the moniker “The Toffee Twins.” You may think of toffee as a treat that you only eat at Grandma’s house, but these siblings have managed to update this classic candy. Together, they’ve given birth to what they call “toffee made with a twist,” and they’ve cornered the market on unique flavors. Samantha concocts the tasty confections while Chelsea handles packaging and presentation, and, according to her twin, she’s great at it: “[Chelsea] ties the bows — boy, does she tie a great bow! They are very hard to do.” Samantha, the culinary half of this dynamic duo, was sweet enough to share a few of the secrets of their start-up candy business with Lady Clever.
What is The Toffee Twins and what inspired you to pursue this idea?
The Toffee Twins is a family-owned company that makes delicious toffee– with a twist. I was on a hiatus from working on a television show and was craving something really sweet one night. I only had butter and sugar, so I went online to see what I could make with that, and toffee came up! We make toffee with a twist because you won’t find any original English toffee here. We do one-of-a-kind flavors like Oreo, milk chocolate potato, chip, pretzel coconut, and milk chocolate peanut butter, just to name a few.
Is The Toffee Twins your first entrepreneurial endeavor? If not, what projects were you involved in before?
My first entrepreneurial endeavor was in the 4th grade. I had a friendship bracelet company that did very well. Each bracelet was sold for $0.05 and I made about $20.00. Flash forward to high school, where I started my own belt business. My uncle worked in the garment industry in New York City, and sent me a bunch of belt buckles. I then attached fabric to them, cut-and-pasted pictures and sayings onto them and started messing around with different styles of belts, eventually selling them to friends and classmates. You could say I was ahead of my time in the fashion world. *winks*
What has been your biggest challenge in starting and running your own business?
The biggest challenge in starting my own business would definitely have to be the money needed to keep it running. Who knew having a business could be so expensive? Food is one of the hardest things to create a business out of. One of they keys is to provide a great product that no one else has, and I definitely believe we have that!
Are there any challenges that you’ve faced starting your business that you feel are specifically experienced by women?
Not at all. Being a women in the entrepreneurial world has been amazing. People will always be quick to judge and offer their “two cents”, but I make sure to listen to myself and not anyone else. Except my business partner, of course.
What is your biggest achievement with your company to date?
Our biggest achievement would have to be being successful! We will never forget when we got an email from Kris Jenner’s representation [of Keeping Up With The Kardashians fame], asking to order toffee for her and the Kardashian family. We were screaming for about two days.
What are your hopes, dreams, and goals for your company?
Our hopes for this company is to be successful at what we do. We created this company to spend more time together, create new and fun flavors, and to have fun at work! As of this moment, we have an online store, and we ship all over the US. The dream goal would be to open a store front and have our products sold in stores like Trader Joe’s nationwide! (We love Trader Joe’s!)
What is one piece of advice you would give to other women with hopes of starting their own businesses?
It’s been said before, but that’s because it’s important: never give up. There were days when I said: “I cant do this.” I’d ask myself, “Why am I putting so much effort in and not getting anything out?” But I didn’t let those thoughts discourage me– I stuck with it, and now I’ve come really far. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. I’m living proof that if you dream hard about something, you can turn it in to reality.
Have you found it difficult to balance your personal and professional life?
I have found it difficult to have a full-time job during the day and run my own business at night. My sister and I both have full-time jobs, and then I come home at night and make the toffee while Chelsea packages it. It’s a two-(wo)man job! It’s exhausting, but very rewarding to having something of our own. As far as our personal lives, we are both single and ready to mingle, so that’s been pretty easy to handle.
These girls are serving some “delicious,” with a side of “ambitious” to boot– yum! You can check out all the treats they have to offer at their website The Toffee Twins. The Toffee Twins ships throughout the US, and their products, which they are willing to customize for large orders, are the perfect presents for weddings, showers, corporate gifts– the possibilities are endless. Keep up with these candy queens by following them on their Twitter and Instagram and liking them on Facebook.