“These are just like the caramels I remember having as a kid.”
I can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard these same words anywhere we offer tiny morsels of our caramels to sample. It’s always a surprise to these people. A very nice, very sentimental surprise. People don’t go to farmers markets looking for caramel, but when they do, they’re often touched in a special nostalgic way.
It’s obvious people from all over the world love caramel. Sweden, France, Germany, Japan, Israel, New Jersey—these are just some of the places we’ve heard that come to mind. Caramels aren’t just universally loved; it’s clear they’re a lifelong touchstone for our palette.
What a pleasure it’s been to connect with people from all over the world on a level this personal and unique. Yes, it generally results in a sale, but even more important to us is how this interaction reaffirms the concept behind our product. It’s good to know there’s still a place in this world dominated by mass production for a handmade, hand-cut, hand-wrapped confection made from pure, local ingredients. It’s how candy (and everything else) used to be made. Have we made progress since then? I know what our taste buds would say.
It’s also interesting to see how people seem to have a pathway in their brain that this flavor touches. It’s like a road that was paved years ago that’s been dormant, but re-awakened by a familiar taste. Activity in the brain creates its own pathways and memories, often forever. Think of a well-worn path in a meadow. This ability to learn and retain is known as plasticity or neuroplasticity. Others would call this involuntary memory the “Proust Effect.”
Regardless of what you call it, these memories are powerful and real. And unlike a post-traumatic memory, these are beautiful, positive, and something people love holding on to for as long as they can. They may even share the experience with their children or friends along with a vivid story of their personal connection to caramel. Our interactions tell us that caramels are a multi-generational experience that’s grounded in goodness.
No, caramels are not just for kids. They are, however, for that kid we all carry around inside us.