Hello! We're Marisa Wu and Carolyn Walsh of Salty Road!
We are candy makers! As the business grew, we had to move our production far from home in order to work with candy makers who had the specialty equipment needed to produce our salt water taffy in greater quantities. But we love making candy, and it's our dream to bring the production back home to Brooklyn where we can share that love with our community. We've found the equipment (special, rare, an antique!) that will allow us to do this, but we need to raise $10,000 in just THREE WEEKS in order to make it a reality!
Summer, 2011: Friends had opened Veggie Island, an organic produce stand near the beach in Far Rockaway, Queens--they wanted really high-quality salt water taffy to sell on the boardwalk, but hadn't found just exactly what they were looking for. Marisa had been working as a candy maker at Liddabit Sweets; she jumped at the chance to create her own spin on this seaside treat, and Salty Road was born!
Fellow candy makers warned Marisa about making taffy by hand--with all the stretching, cutting and wrapping, the process is very laborious--but it was love at first pull! Salty Road taffy was different than any other she'd tasted before. The taffy was soft and stretchy, creamy like a milkshake with a distinct salt crystal crunch and a true vanilla flavor achieved by adding real organic vanilla beans.
Carolyn came onboard just a few months later, and together we've been making delicious salt water taffy flavored with all-natural ingredients (like freshly ground spices, fruit purees and aromatic oils!)--never any artificial flavors or added colors. We're the only taffy makers in New York City!
We've come a long way since the hot summer of 2011--earlier this year, we recognized that demand had risen faster than our hands could keep up! Until April 2013, every piece of delicious Salty Road taffy was hand-wrapped by one of us. At top speed, the two of us could wrap about four pieces of taffy per minute.
By April, this was no longer sustainable--and we seemed to be developing carpal tunnel syndrome! We teamed up with an amazing candy maker in Maine who has all the equipment needed to wrap taffy beautifully and speedily--to the tune of 300 pieces per minute!
But our team in Maine is so far north, and we are still down here in Brooklyn--where we are part of a wonderful community of local businesses and candy lovers. It has always been our dream to bring the production back here to Brooklyn, and now is our chance!
A Model K confectionery machine like the one our friends in Maine use to cut and wrap our taffy is vital to Salty Road's success and future sustainability--but they're a little bit tricky. These machines were produced mainly in the 1940s, and you can't just head down to the confectioners' supply store to pick one up--they're antiques, and are often jealously guarded by those who've managed to find or hold onto one over the years. They come to market rarely and are snapped up quickly when they do.
But we've found one! Located just a couple of hours' drive away is a beautiful Model K with Salty Road's name on it! Literally! We've put down a deposit and have just THREE WEEKS to finalize the purchase. We have saved over half the remaining balance, but we need your help to raise the final $10,000--which will allow us to purchase the Model K and everything else we need to outfit a production space right here in Brooklyn.
This machinery will allow us to set up our factory here at home and bring Salty Road production back to Brooklyn--we'll keep money here in the community and over time generate jobs and new amazing taffy flavors!
We so appreciate you taking the time to watch our video and read our story--and if you are able to send something our way we'd love to send something right back! We are chomping at the bit to send delicious candy and nifty swag anywhere in the US, and if you are in the New York City area (or planning to travel here), we'd LOVE to host you at the factory for a tour or a class.
And there is one more thing you can do to help--spread the word! Share the campaign--like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram and email our news to all of your candy-loving internet-friends!
$6,000 for an INDUSTRIAL TAFFY PULLER!
With such amazing support so far Salty Road is very excited to announce our stretch goal. YOUR HELP!
If we are able to raise the extra $6000 mark we will give everybody that pledged $25 and higher a sample of our new tropical flavor, Passion Fruit!
But, like one of our fan's has said, we are a taffy company and we have to S-T-R-E-T-C-H our goal! And it just so happens that we need a new INDUSTRIAL TAFFY PULLER! With such amazing support so far Salty Road is very excited to extend our goal by $5,000 to purchase this industrial puller. And with your continued support - we can easily do it!
The Model K machine was an absolute necessity for us in setting up our production space, but to increase our efficiency even more we need to purchase an industrial taffy puller. While we love our Rosie, she can only handle about 6lbs of taffy at a go, and she tires quickly (overheats). We'd love to be able to keep her safe for events (weddings, birthdays) and demonstrations, while shifting the heavy lifting to a machine that's built for it! These bigger machines are usually around $5,000. Can we do it? With your help, yes we can!
WHERE DOES ALL THE MONEY GO?!
- Equipment Purchase: the cutting/wrapping machine, kettle, and other necessary equipment are expensive--that's why we need your help!
- Reward Fulfillment: taffy and t-shirts don't grow on trees! But that would be cool, maybe we should work on that...
- Shipping for those of you who can't come to us, we're psyched to send stuff to you! But we haven't yet convinced the good folks of the USPS to donate their services...
THANKS TO ALL:
Product / Head Designer - The Amazing, the beautiful, the very best that a girl could ask for - Basia Grocholski
Music Provided by the most awesome Jingle Punks
Photos Provided by the fantastic and most talented beauty, Sarah Kell
Video Provided by my most favorite brother ever, Ben Wu
Risks and challenges
Earlier this year, our biggest challenge was producing enough candy to keep our retail partners supplied and satisfy our loyal online clientele! Since teaming up with our friends in Maine, this hasn't been a problem, but we've been challenged to manage ordering and inventory so that we are able to respond quickly to new orders.
With the production back in our own hands, and with the help of our very own cutting and wrapping machine, we expect these challenges to evaporate like moisture from a candy kettle--but new ones will inevitably develop (constant challenge: the fun part of small business!).
If you guys really blow us out of the water, and we get to send out more taffy than in our wildest imaginings, there may be some delays in fulfillment--but we've scheduled the rewards with that in mind, so we expect to have plenty of capacity. Another potential source of delay is NYC's Department of Agriculture & Markets--they're the agency in charge of the permit we'll need to operate a production facility--but even if we're held up for a bit, you can count on us to keep soldiering on until the Salty Road Taffy Factory is ready for action!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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