I grew up in the heartland of our country, Iowa, with Dutch and German heritage all around me. Went to college in Iowa in pursuit of what I wasn’t sure, then moved to Boston after two years to study my new found pursuit, journalism. Realized journalism wasn’t my passion after all so I went into sales. Met, married my husband, Mike, and started a family. So after leaving the world of sales in 1995 to become a first time mom to our wonderful daughter, Alie, God blessed us quickly with two more children, Rich and Jack. The next 15 years flew by as we tried to keep up with diapers, baseball games and finally the teenage years.
During that time of being home with my children, I realized my passion for cooking and loved creating and experimenting with new recipes. I loved the joy I felt knowing that something I made had brought a smile to the faces of my family and friends. I began to make caramels during the holidays to give as gifts and soon realized they were something special. My friends would leave sticky notes as hints when they were ready for more!
With college bills around the corner, I knew it was time to reenter the work force but the thought of working for someone else didn’t feel right. I had always dreamt of owning my own business and after much thought, many discussions with Mike and many sleepless nights, decided to take the leap and started Süss in 2010! I wanted the name to be symbolic of my German heritage and, Süss, which means sweet in German, was perfect.
I started selling at local farmer’s markets only to find the response was overwhelming. Facebook comments were posted on the Farmer’s Market fan page mentioning the “amazing” caramels. My second week at the Farmer’s Market lured repeat customers buying pounds of caramels and I knew Süss had a future.! We developed a website and started selling to specialty gourmet and gift stores across the country. We’re not in every state yet, but getting close!
It’s been an amazing journey so far and I have realized that there are a lot of people who are “caramel” lovers in this world and really appreciate a quality caramel made with all natural, preservative and gluten free ingredients. I’ve made sure our sweets stay simple as the best tasting food is made with simple ingredients. It is my ongoing mission to continue what I learned long ago and that is that I get great joy making a sweet that people love and I hope it truly is a sweet that makes you smile!
Süss Supports Operation Smile. Please visit their website.