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November 08, 2015
It all started with Organic Cotton Candy.
I'm asked (regularly) "how did you get into making candy"? The short answer is.....it's a long story.
You see, I was in marketing and PR for the past 20 years (read the article on my career change). Most recently, I was the Marketing & PR manager for the Vancouver International Children's Festival. After 20 years, I was really good at what I did. I knew that. But I also knew it was time for a change. I needed a challenge. Something completely different. I knew that I didn't want to sell a service anymore but rather MAKE something.
Handcrafted. Handmade. Artisan.
So in 2012 I started testing out things I could make - I learned how to embroider (which I really enjoyed but quickly realized I would have to sell a handmade embroidered napkin for like $40....yeah, not going to happen), I pondered buying a mini donut business (but wasn't keen on the idea of having to attend a million events to make money), I made simple syrups and soaked apple slices in them to make flavoured apple chips (3+ hours of 3 trays in one oven didn't make much sense for scaling up a small operation), I researched food trucks for months but quickly realized that Victoria wasn't that food truck friendly and really....the business was way too much work than what I was willing to put in.
I have always baked as a hobby (I taught myself how to decorate cakes when I was 12) so I kind of knew instinctively that I would likely end up in the food industry.
And then, while planning an editorial calendar for the Children's Festival, I learned there was going to be an organic cotton candy vendor onsite for the first time called Cloud Nine Cotton Candy.
"WHAAAAT? How can cotton candy be organic", I thought. (note: this is something I get asked regularly now too).
So I did research. It's quite simple actually:
organic sugar + all natural colours & flavours = organic cotton candy.
The original creators/owners of Cloud Nine were a lovely couple from the B.C. interior. They also owned a vintage trailer business. So they arrived on site, spun and sold cotton candy inside this sweet set-up (a couple after my own heart as I love vintage trailers).
After the Festival ended, I learned that the couple was expecting their first child and decided to sell the business. So now, Cloud Nine is operating out of Vancouver, BC, and they expanded their offerings to include shave ice, mini donuts (ha!!), and waffles. Vancouverites can now find them and their sweet trailer at events around the city.
To make this long story short, I decided NOT to get into organic cotton candy until AFTER I opened my Shoppe. I didn't want to base a business around attending events (only); I sell organic cotton candy in my shoppe and at festivals/markets. But if wasn't for Cloud Nine then who knows, maybe I wouldn't have discovered organic sugar and the potential for making other products with such a "simple" (and I emphasize the quotes around that word) ingredient.
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