J. O. Sweets & Treats, Inc. in The Miami Herald
The Miami Herald Her holiday gift has become a sweet treat anyone can buy BY NANCY ANCRUM [email_address] The ''ka'nookie'' is an ''oops!'' that worked out -- deliciously. In 1999, Julie Owens was trying to make peppermint bark to take to a holiday party -- pouring melted chocolate and peppermint candies onto a baking sheet, then breaking it into pieces after it set up. But, she says, the result was something less than desirable. Still, it wasn't a total loss, and she said to herself ``Let me try a couple of things.'' After a little fiddling, Owens, 39, came up with a toffee-chocolate treat that was part crunchy, part chewy. For years she made it just for friends and co-workers during the holiday season. ``I was a teacher, and my colleagues at school knew that every Christmas they would get goodies in their mailboxes. I gave it away to the entire staff. ``It gave me something to do during the holidays to show thanks and appreciation -- a little holiday spirit.'' But after years of oohs and ahhs and mmms that greeted her annual gift, Owens, a Pembroke Pines resident, decided to market her creation. It needed a name and eye-catching packaging. She found the packaging first: Handsome boxes of deep brown and Tiffany blue. ''I'm a shopper, and when I'm looking at things the first thing I see is presentation. Once that grabs me then I'll investigate what's inside,'' she says.
<ul><li>But there was still the little problem of a name for her product. 'I really wanted to launch the business and introduce it to people other than just friends. People were calling me `the candy lady.' '' </li></ul><ul><li>By now, Owens was a reading coach in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools system. ''When you work with kids, you have to play with words,'' she says. 'What I wanted to sell was kind of a cookie, kind of a candy. ``I thought: `Hmmmm -- ka'nookie. Hmmmm, I don't know how that's going to go over.' '' </li></ul><ul><li>But that's what she copyrighted, and the slightly lascivious reference indeed gets people's attention. ''It's definitely a conversation starter,'' she says. </li></ul><ul><li>In two years, she has developed several flavors of the thin, sweet and addictive ka'nookie. Toffee is the bottom layer, topped with dark semisweet, milk or white chocolate, or butterscotch, peanut butter or during Christmas, mint. She's experimenting with banana and key lime. </li></ul><ul><li>Owens rents a commercial kitchen and fills the orders herself. She's not set up for e-commerce yet, taking orders over the phone at 305-720-1966 or at [email_address] . </li></ul><ul><li>Then there are ''krum'blees'' -- what's left after Owens breaks up the ka'nookie into bite-sized pieces. She says they're great on ice cream or stirred into yogurt. </li></ul><ul><li>''I promised to put a little spin of my style in the business,'' she said. And she has. </li></ul>The Miami Herald
How can we treat you? 305 720-1966 info @josweetsntreats.com Visit: www.josweetsntreats.com