After my mother passed away in 2000, a close friend wanted to spend time with my boys to help us through the grieving process. My son Nathan loved to help me in the kitchen and my friend Nancy was a fantastic candy maker. One afternoon, Nancy invited Nathan to visit her house and make candy with her. When he returned, I had the pleasure of enjoying the most delicious caramels I had ever eaten (and believe me, I have tried many)!

Not long after, Nathan overheard me talking to my husband Tom about the fact that we needed to help his school raise money to build a new playground. Recess on equipment from the 1950’s wasn’t so much fun and it was time for an update. Nathan ran into the kitchen and said, “I have a great idea, let’s make Nancy’s caramels and sell them at the Lazy Days festival!” I looked at my husband and said, “That’s not a bad idea.” In no time, my family and I had made dozens of batches of caramels and the boys had collected over $3,000 during the event!

Creating caramels became a family affair. When it was time to choose a name for the kids’ business cards, we decided on “Nate’s Caramels.” N for Nathan; A for Alyssa (that’s me!); T for Tom; and E for my other son Evan.

The serenade to sweetness in choosing our name came as a suggestion from my sister to add “Candy Jar.” As a result, “Nate’s Candy Jar” was born! It’s a name that is near and dear to my heart. I hope you will enjoy our labor of love!