A SWEET INDULGENCE BUILT ON FAMILY LEGACY
Members of the Marak household eagerly looked forward to Christmas knowing that Aunt Ida Belle’s treats were on the way. The love for these packages of hand-made toffee and memories of the annual tradition inspired Ida’s nephew, Larry Marak to re-create for people all over the world to enjoy. Aunt Ida reluctantly surrendered her recipe to the family, however it was a vague description of the candy making process written on a 3×5 index card. After years of trial and error, testing and tweaking measurements and experimenting with variations of temperature, Larry’s persistence and dedication paid off and he successfully replicate the beloved treats he enjoyed as a young boy.
Larry and his wife Joyce, revived the family tradition of sharing the toffee with family and friends during the holidays. And it wasn’t long before family members recognized a potential business opportunity and encouraged Larry to make it available for a larger number of people. They launched the toffee at a fund-raising event to test the response. It was a success! Every tin was purchased and at that point Larry knew it was time to retire from engineering and made Belle Toffee his full-time career. Local Kansas City gourmet food stores started carrying their toffee and it grew from there to being sold and sampled at trade shows and events. They also launched a website to make the toffee available all across the world.
Belle Toffee is available in three signature selections; milk chocolate almond toffee, dark chocolate almond toffee and dark chocolate hazelnut espresso toffee. And they are always experimenting with new flavor combinations to add to the mix. Larry won’t settle for using anything less than authentic ingredients, such as pure cane sugar, creamery butter, California almonds and Oregon hazelnuts. Dark and milk chocolate are imported from Belgium and a Columbian dark chocolate is used to make the hazelnut expresso toffee. No short cuts in the candy making process are ever taken to maintain the integrity of Aunt Ida’s original recipe.
Satisfy your sweet tooth at Tasty Expo where Larry Marak and his family will be sharing Aunt Ida’s scrumptious toffee. Listen to their story and take some home to share with your own family. They will be at the Overland Park Convention Center, May 19-20, 2018.