When you're passionate about what you do, your product and the pleasure it brings people is its own reward. But truth be told, it can also be nice to be recognized by people aside from appreciative customers. Let's be honest. It's an ego boost to be told you're a standout product in your category. (Call it good, old-fashioned "Excellence Bias.")
At the end of July, we were fortunate enough to be named Westchester Magazine's Editors' Pick for 2017 Best Caramel. Imagine our surprise considering we hadn't even entered the competition. Mind you, we knew we were on their radar since Westchester Magazine had featured us in a recent article, but it was still a very pleasant surprise. It was an honor, actually.
So what does this accolade earn us? Well. bragging rights for one thing. But the first order of business was to be feted along with all the other 2017 winners in a victory lap at the Glen Island Harbour Club in New Rochelle, New York on a perfect July evening.
Imagine an idyllic, manicured yacht club set on the water with huge floor-to-ceiling windows everywhere you look. Now add 500 hungry adults and 3 floors of tables of the award-winning food & drink as far as the eye can see. It was nothing shy of a bacchanal, lubricated by winners like Slovenia Vodka, Farmer & the Fish, Turcos, Digg Inn, Emmas's Ale House, City Limits Diner, Walter's Hot Dogs, Dough Nation and many, many others. In all, there were over 120 winners represented. Each was excellent in its own way. (And it must be said each was extremely generous with attendees.)
This was not the farmers market crowd, so this prize meant something quite special to us: a micro-confectioner with a farmers market product had broken into the main stream. We were there sharing a pedestal with established brands, including multi-generational businesses and even publicy-traded behemoths like Shake Shack. Imagine that.
It was an honor. An exhausting honor. Nonetheless, we were thrilled to be there, and to meet so many new fans. Thank you all for your support, including the support of Editor John Bruno Turiano and his staff. We appreciate each of you making this journey with us from farm to candy.