Every now and again we will blog about a featured/favorite artisan that Hummingbird and Holly has the privilege to partner with. It’s a way that we can highlight for you some of the items on our shelves providing you with a little story behind the maker as well as why we LOVE to include them in our gift boxes.
We have been working with Jonboy Caramels for just about 2 years and their adorable little Kraft box tied with a grosgrain ribbon seems to make its way into almost every curated box we gift. This small artisan candy maker, made up of just 2 friends, Jonathan Sue and Jason Alm, have their commercial kitchen and office in the town of Ballard, a small neighborhood of Seattle. We love that they are local, family owned, use all-natural ingredients grown and produced close to home. They use organic butter from Oregon and organic cream from Smith Brothers Farms, headquartered in Kent. Absinthe from Pacific Distilleries in Woodinville which provides anise undertones to Jonboy’s Absinthe caramels. A summer balsamic berry flavor is derived from raspberries and blackberries grown by Jonboy’s fellow farmers market vendors. They also use organic brown rice syrup (no corn syrup!!!) and organic cane sugar to create the perfect morsel of caramel out there. One of our corporate clients based in the Seattle area sends gifts of gratitude to each of their customers all over the country and includes a box of Jonboy Caramels as a small “taste of home”.
Their business began back in 2008 when Jonathan created caramels for Christmas gifts for friends and family. When Jason received the caramels he was “hooked” and came to Jonathan with the idea of starting a business. The process of making caramel is relatively simple. They heat the sugar slowly until it turns a dark color, softens and becomes sticky. By creating their caramels in small batches they are able to focus on high quality ingredients and the result is a higher grade product. They started slow – reaching out to Farmers Markets in the area. It was an easy way to market themselves with all of the foot traffic that the popular Seattle Farmers Markets provide. Now you will find them at the many farmers markets across the Seattle area as well as local PCC and Whole Foods Markets and a long list of local specialty shops.
Jonboy carries their Fleur de Sel caramels all year long and rotates around the seasons with several other flavors. Salted Key Lime, Balsamic Berry, Whiskey and Smoked Salt, Ceylon Cinnamon, to name a few.
Jonathan and Jason’s caramels are always fresh. They have an 8 week shelf life which can be a bit of a challenge for small retailers, but we can honestly pride ourselves in knowing that our customers/clients are receiving something incredibly fresh and made with real, quality ingredients. They are addicting for certain, if you were to stop by our studio on any given day you will inevitably find small squares of brown waxed papers lying around – Kate and I have a hard time keeping our hands off them. In fact, I had delivered to my porch just yesterday a new order which includes their seasonal Blackberry and Balsamic Caramel (dying to try!). Jason also sent us a sample of their new caramel sauce. You know I will be trying that out this evening over a bowl of vanilla ice cream!!
So if you find yourself walking through a Saturday Farmers Market in the Seattle area and come across the Jonboy Caramel booth, do yourself a favor and pick up a box. I promise you will NOT regret it.With Gratitude – Krista