I love ANY story where the motivation for reaching a goal is a trip to Italy, but this true story of two enterprising young teenagers really takes the cake... or I should say TOFFEE! Here is the amazing story of Brandini Toffee.
Four years ago, Brandon and his best friend Leah, came home from school very excited about a teacher's plans for a trip to Italy. They asked their parents if they could go, and the answer was, "Yes, but you have to earn half the money yourselves." That was the beginning of their idea to make and sell Brandon's homemade toffee. Now, four years later, they are shipping the delicious stuff all over the world.
After tasting the toffee and hearing the story at my book club, Brad and I visited their large Rancho Mirage shop, and were greeted by Brandon. I told him I wanted to write a blog about them, and he graciously took us on a tour, and told us their story.
On their busiest days, they make up to 1000 pounds of toffee in a day with 10 employees (friends of the moms).
Next, we met Leah, drizzling chocolate over their newest product of toffee covered popcorn "poppers".
We met Brandon's mom, (just back from a trip to Italy). Both Brandon and Leah say, "We couldn't have done this without our parents' help and support!" In 2007, they visited Assisi, Florence, Pisa and Rome.
Achievements: (These are just a few. The list goes on and on!)
Just last week, the "toffee kids" were on the Food Network's Chef's vs City in Palm Springs.
Desert Magazine "Best of the Valley"
Best Chocolate Shop 2009 and 2010
Brandon and Leah both were recipients of the McKelvey Foundation Entrepreneurial Scholarship for $10,000 per year for college.
They were on the Martha Stewart Show!
The made the "O List" from Oprah's magazine!
Currently, Brandon is studying business management at the University of Arizona, and Leah is studying business at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, but while they are away at school, the rest of the family keeps things running smoothly, and younger siblings are saving up for their college tuitions.
I can't say enough about these two clean-cut, poised, enthusiastic young people. They gave us toffee to take home, and we bought some for a hostess gift (that it is VERY unlikely will go past our kitchen and tummies). They have even added a coffee bar to their shop. I will be back...again and again!
Hmmmmm... I want to go to Italy! I wonder how many pounds of taralli I could crank out a day? On second thought, I better stick to my day job!