Go behind the scenes with some of our favorite makers! We sat down with these entrepreneurs for a deep dive on their businesses, what makes them tick and what they’ve got in store for the future! Join us as we Meet the Maker!
This time, we sat down with Katie Becker of Tasty Good Toffee! Let’s dive in.
Q: Give us your back story! What made you want to start your business?
A: My Grandma B. always made the best holiday treats, and I knew that everyone loved her toffee best. During Thanksgiving dinner in 2002, she was telling me how sad she was that she didn’t have it in her to make all of her treats that holiday season. I told her that I couldn’t even try to make all of her wonderful treats, but would love to learn how to make her toffee. She was so happy, and I started making (and burning) a few batches. With her help, I perfected my small batch holiday offering. Each year, it seemed I made more and more to gift to family and friends. Fast forward to the holiday season of 2013 – I was encouraged to sell some toffee at a local craft show. I never dreamed that anyone would pay money for this family favorite. However, I packed up some bags and set up my booth. I sold out within the first two hours and realized that there just might be something to this little toffee recipe. From there, Tasty Good Toffee was born. It started as a holiday-time hobby, but has evolved into a year-round venture with more than a dozen flavors.
Q: Did you come in with experience or did you learn as you went?
A: I continue to learn along the way! I have a degree in Marketing and Advertising, so that part seems to come naturally to the business, yet I am my own critic and always see areas for improvement!
Q: What makes Tasty Good Toffee unique compared to other companies?
A: Tasty Good Toffee is small batch, handmade toffee. Toffee is all we offer, but you can choose from various flavor combinations to suit your tastes. We even have two toffees featuring spicy ghost pepper dust! I’m not sure what Grandma would think of that!
Q: What kinds of challenges have you had to overcome as a small business owner and entrepreneur?
A: It is my goal to provide a premium product that is fun and accessible. At times, it can be challenging to source premium ingredients at a reasonable cost.
Q: How have you coped with COVID? How have you had to pivot?
A: Yes, I have found a way to cope in 2020. Prior to this year, my business model focused mostly on selling Tasty Good Toffee in-person events, with heavy emphasis on product sampling. Secondary to that goal was selling wholesale, and thirdly online order through TastyGoodToffee.com. However, once events shut down, and stores closed, I had to put a stronger focus on my online sales, and I got better at packaging and shipping. I realized early that consumers are used to the Amazon model of free shipping and 2-day delivery. I have lowered my free shipping threshold and have encouraged some great sales through promotions and discounts for volume purchases. As the year is coming to a close, I have been fortunate to participate in a good handful of outdoor event and markets. This has helped with my product outreach and awareness. Many wholesale partnerships have returned and I have many new partners going into the holiday season. Add to that my stronger online presence and tactics and this has helped my year meet my goals.
Q: What does a typical day look like for you?
A: My busy time is August – April, with November and December being busiest, as toffee is a great treat to gift during the holiday season. I don’t think I ever have a typical day, but if I am making toffee, my alarm goes off shortly after 4am so that I can get started on production. This timeline allows me to transition into “Mom Mode” as my kids get ready for school and hop on the bus. After that, my day may be filled with packaging, shipping or delivering toffee – or a combination of all three.
Q: Is this your full time job?
A: Yes, I have been able to make this my full-time career since December of 2016! It was difficult to make the leap from the world of Corporate Marketing, but I am so glad I did. I also have my second full-time job as mom to my three kids. This business allows me the flexibility to BE around for them, and I feel so fortunate that this is my life! Now, balance… not sure if I will ever find balance… but that will go on the 2021 resolutions list, of course!
Q: What are your goals for the future of Tasty Good Toffee?
A: I have a few tricks up my sleeve for 2021 and beyond. This may or may not include product expansion and diversification. In the next five years, I would like to see Tasty Good Toffee have wider distribution and be a countrywide favorite treat!
Q: What do you like most about what you do? What keeps you going?
A: I love that this is my Grandma’s recipe and I can make it my own every day! I love that I can do what I love AND make a living doing it. I love that I can be with my family. I love that I am making a product that people love! When someone buys my toffee and then gives it as a gift to someone they love, I find that to be the ultimate compliment. They love my product enough that they want others to experience a moment of joy!
Q: What are you looking forward to most, post-COVID?
A: I would like to continue growing the breadth of travel for shows and sales. I would like to build a bigger production space and grow our online presence.
Q: We’re suckers for fun facts! Tell us more about you; share some deep dark secrets!
A: I live in Lincoln, Nebraska with my husband and three kids, ages 10, 6 & 4. We got a “COVID Puppy”, named Aubrey, and she’s pretty much the best dog! I have recently found a great love of audio books, but I am impatient, so I listen to the books at 2x or 2.5x speed, and then I wonder why my family says I talk too fast!
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