We got acquainted with each other in 2004 when Tammy started dating Alysia’s brother Alvin and the two of us became fast friends. We roomed together through most of University and decided the universe made a mistake by not making us sisters at birth so we rectified that by having slumber parties almost every day of the week.
Alysia graduated from Nutrition and Food Science and Tammy with a Bachelor of Commerce with a major in marketing in 2010, at the height of the last recession. With no work experience, a boat load of student debt, and over 100 resume applications and interviews in our own fields that led nowhere, we both decided it would be great if we could just find a job that would pay our bills—temporarily, of course.
Alysia went to work at a bank and started as a banking officer, and Tammy as a hostess at a new home builder and little did we know it, we spent the next six years moving up the corporate ladder.
The Big Idea
In 2015, Tammy married Alvin and the two went on their honeymoon in Europe where they tried delicious freshly made caramels for the first time and they brought a bag home for Alysia to try. We were all so enchanted with these soft chewy candies--especially Alysia's beau whose favourite candies in all the world are caramels! Our little bag of candy was finished quickly, and one day Alvin asked us, "Why don't you make your own?"
Opening up Shop
In the spring of 2016, we opened our first booth at the City Market and started selling our caramels. At first it was meant to be a part time gig, but somehow we were working almost 40 hours a week on Caramia and selling out almost every weekend. It wasn’t sustainable and the long hours of working two full time jobs forced us to make a difficult decision fast. But seeing the joy that our caramels brought to people who tried them for the first time got us hooked. We loved our new jobs, and we weren’t going to give it up! So, by the end of summer, we were working at Caramia full time.
Because we cook, cut, wrap and package all our caramels by hand, we are only able to make enough caramels for one farmer’s market. To increase production and enter more markets, we need special candy cooking equipment and a commercial kitchen space to make caramels more efficiently.
We decided to use Kickstarter to fund the candy cooking machine and after months of hard work, we’re proud to announce that we have launched our campaign on Wednesday, October 26 and will run for 30 days in Canada and the US. You can visit our campaign by clicking here!
Now, we are looking forward to more growth and more expansion opportunities. Sometimes it can be scary and super stressful, but 99% of the time, we’re having a blast and loving the growth opportunities Caramia has given to us personally and professionally. Most of all, we remind ourselves daily to be grateful for all we’ve achieved and to keep having fun!
-Tammy and Alysia Lok
Find the links to their kickstarter campaign and dates for events they'll be at here...