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p.o.p. candy co. – fresh butter crunch candies

Hi there, we’re p.o.p. candy co., a husband & wife team from Santa Monica, CA.  We named our business p.o.p. candy co. because community is very important to us and we wanted to ground our ourselves in Santa Monica, where we’re been living for over 10 years thanks to rent-control and great neighbors that we hang out with as much as possible (though admittedly less often since we started the business).  “Pacific Ocean Park” (p.o.p.) is a now deceased but warmly remembered amusement park that stood on a pier between Santa Monica and Venice piers back in the day (1958-67).  It burned down in the mid-70s, but it still brings smiles to the faces of people who went there.  A perfect inspiration for our name.

Unlike other products that we look like but taste nothing like, our emphasis is on freshness (kinda like a baked good).  We handmade our butter crunch in small batches using a short list of pure, all-natural ingredients to whip up its buttery toasty goodness that’s got, as our customers say, “the right level of sweetness.”  We’ve got classic flavors covered — almond, pecan, pistachio, and a killer multi-nut blend that we call p.o.p. mix — but we’re also interested in expanding what butter crunch can be, so we add fresh farmers market herbs and sundried fruit, artisan granolas, and all-natural spiced nuts to create savory flavors  all our own like rosemary almond, fire pistachio, and no-nut p.o.p. with fennel seed.  Oh yea, and no corn syrup; most flavors are gluten free.

What inspired you to go into the craft business, do you still have a day job? We decided to give p.o.p. candy a try 3 years ago after hearing one too many times from a successful entrepreneur whom we loved that we should take seriously the idea of selling our fresh butter crunch that we annually gave as holiday gifts.  When she started listing the cool places she thought would embrace our product we thought, why not take the idea for a spin?! (We still dream of p.o.p. on swanky hotel pillows!)  An opportunity opened to try p.o.p. out at the Mar Vista Farmers Market in Dec 2007, and before the market was over, we were nearly sold out and had been offered a gig!

Being a husband and wife team, we divide and conquer day and night. Bill, who has 30+ years in the food and restaurant biz takes care of the day-to-day business o’ p.o.p. and is the primary in the p.o.p. kitchen, while wife Rachel takes care of web stuff, branding, marketing, blah, blah, and dreams of the day she can step away from her UCLA paycheck and pension to launch fully into the world of the craft business she loves!  We collaborate on flavors, and work as a team on growing the business, packaging, and such!
We consider fresh herbs and spices that we love to cook with as well as interesting flavor combos that make sense for our base candy blend.

We had a killer Old Fashioned at Cole’s, the oldest restaurant in D/T Los Angeles, that was trimmed with a perfect Luxardo Italian cherry that continues to inspire a future flavor (we just need more time for R&D!). While our colleagues play with bacon – and who doesn’t love bacon?! — we’ve got our eye on a p.o.p. flavor made with pancetta that was inspired by a not-so-long go trip to Florence.  Maybe with some parm cheese … yum! Because we’re a buttery sweet, we really can go there in a way that makes sense, flavorwise!

What’s the best thing about what you do? And the worst? The best thing?  It’s brought us closer in our relationship. We’re extremely committed to our vision and to p.o.p. …  it’s made us stronger and thicker skinned against the world!  The worst thing?? The typical bad days a couple experiences working together.  It can be downright brutal!

We just came out with NEW CRAFT BOXES with vellum wrap and 1 LB. WINDOWED GIFT TINS that have an indie look we love. We’ll have both available at the show.  Have we mentioned how excited we are to be part of Bizarre Bazaar?!  Can’t wait!


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