Tiddleywink Toffee is taking center stage this week in connection with Sunday’s 55th annual Grammy Awards.
Owner Laurie Norris, of Munster, landed in California on Tuesday to deliver her toffee treats for inclusion in the Grammy Awards Style Lounge gift bags.
The Friday event was put on by Red Carpet Events LA at the Hyatt Regency Century City Plaza Hotel in Beverly Hills, and various Grammy nominees, presenters, celebrities and writers were expected to attend.
“I received an email from them. I followed up with many questions and decided to take a leap of faith and go for it,” Norris said.
She decided to take the initial leap into business ownership after facing a life change.
“I was at a crossroad in my career after losing my job after 18 years due to a downsize. I decided to make a go of making my mom’s treasured recipe. I always made it for gifts over the holidays and realized that this would be a new opportunity for me to make a change,” she said. “My mom made this toffee since I was a child, so it has been around for a long time. It has always been a staple during the holidays, and everyone just raves about it.”
She said the toffee is a thin, crisp base with milk or dark chocolate on top and a coating of a favorite topping such as walnuts, pretzels or a customer’s request.
“Thin toffee seems to be a huge hit – it is very easy on the teeth,” she said.
Norris found inspiration for her toffee’s name during a vacation.
“While on a trip to visit my daughter in England, we were on a tour and drove through a hamlet of eight cottages called Tiddleywink. At that moment I knew I had the name, once I returned home, things progressed from there,” she said.
Norris is building her business one day at a time and her toffee already has been recognized when she was named the 2012 Bake-Off Contest winner at the Homewood Chocolate Fest. She will be at the All Candy Expo in May at McCormick Place in the Innovation Alley, which is an area for start-up businesses.
“I have big dreams of opening a store front and watching Tiddleywink Toffee grow, but realize it will take time and patience,” she said. “I have learned a lot along the way from making my own website to pounding the pavement making contact with stores. You get thick skin real quick but learn that if you believe in your product and your passion, it is all worth it in the end.”
Tiddleywink Toffee is available at various locations in Illinois and Indiana including the Center for Visual and Performing Arts gift shop in Munster, Louise’s Hallmark in St. John, Foodie’s Market Cafe in Dyer and Water's Edge in Lansing. Orders can also be placed via the Web site: www.tiddleywinktoffee.com.