Salty Road Wants to Bring Taffy to Brooklyn

Soon you won’t need to leave the city to get salt water taffy and the memories of childhood summers at the beach that come along with it. Marisa Wu and Carolyn Walsh, candy lovers and partners at Salty Road taffy, are looking to bring their taffy business back to its original home in Brooklyn.

Salty Road Taffy

Soon you won’t need to leave the city to get salt water taffy and the memories of childhood summers at the beach that come along with it. Marisa Wu, candy lover and owner of Salty Road taffy, is looking to bring her taffy business back to its original home in Brooklyn.

Up until April, Marisa wrapped all of her taffy by hand. As demand grew, she knew it was not sustainable, and she teamed up with a candy maker in Maine who had the equipment to cut and wrap taffy quickly. Marisa has since wanted to bring the business home, and she recently got her hands on a Model K confectionery machine that will allow her to cut and wrap Salty Road’s candy in Brooklyn. In the beginning of September, she launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the Model K.

Below, check out our conversation with Marisa about Salty Road taffy and her Kickstarter campaign.

Edible Brooklyn: Why taffy?
Marisa Wu: A few years ago, I was volunteering at Veggie Island and they wanted an all-natural taffy. I tried it out and used real vanilla beans and sea salt, and I pulled it by hand. I had never been a huge fan of taffy, but this was different. It was similar to nougat – chewy, creamy and airy with salt crystals.

Taffy doesn’t sell like chocolate or caramel, but it’s a very nostalgic food. When I found out no one else was making all natural taffy in New York City, I decided to give it a try. The response was great. Every time someone emails me that they love my product, I’m like, “Wow, I did that!”

EB: Why did you choose to bring Salty Road back to Brooklyn?
MW: Our process and recipe were in someone else’s hands, and it became clear to me that we didn’t want to be in that position. We started doing some research on Ebay, craigslist, etc. to locate a Model K. We finally found one, and we knew that if we raised the money, we could make it work.

We’ve always wanted to get a machine here in Brooklyn so we could feel closer with our community. If we’re working closer to home, we can test out flavors, go to markets like Smorgasburg, and interact with people to find out what they think.

EB: You’ve far exceeded your goal with Kickstarter. What do you plan to do with all the extra money?
MW: It’s not really as much as it seems. Kickstarter takes a portion, and Amazon takes a portion, and then we’ll have to fulfill the rewards for those who supported us. Between shipping and labor costs, we’ll probably only end up with half of what we’ve made.

We’re now trying to raise more money for a cooling table. It’s not as sexy as the taffy puller, but it’s equally important. The table has cold water running through it to cool 247-degree taffy when we take it off the fire.

For more information on Salty Road taffy, visit their website. To support the campaign, visit their Kickstarter page.

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When Marissa was a little girl, she threw her bottle and pacifier down the stairs and begged for "real food." More than two decades later, her passion for real food has grown into a part of her everyday life. Marissa graduated in May 2014 with a Masters in Food Studies from NYU, where she focused her research on food politics and food culture. She has taught children’s nutrition, gardening and cooking classes for the past four years, and she will spend the next academic year as a FoodCorps service member in Guilford County, North Carolina.