Posted in News - Written by candyman on May 7, 2013 - 0 Comments
I was once asked, “if Cocomels could save the world, how would they do it? What is their Super Power?” I imagined this scenario:
A human in trouble: “HELP! Life is so complicated… So much to do, so many stimuli, so many conflicting messages! I barely know who I am anymore. Plus, I lost my keys. I just need a moment for myself that will remind me how beautiful life is and how simple it can be.”
Cocomel: “Hello, I heard a call for help, I’m here to save the world! You know you have the power within you to find peace and your keys. You just need to know how to find it.”
“But, how can I? I didn’t know I had some… power.”
“Try this Cocomel, it will take the craziness away and put you in, “the moment” so you can better look within yourself. ”
“But it’s candy, isn’t it bad for me?”
“It’s simple, natural, allergen-free and made with high quality, real ingredients, and if you order now, you get these handy paring knives.”
“But it’s just candy?!”
“Yes, but it can transport you away from the madness. It is an experience of such deliciousness, a mouthgasm of epic proportions (yes, a mouthgasm, Cocomel’s super power – an odd word, granted) that forces you out of your head and closer to your true nature, and… ENLIGHTENMENT.”
Our citizen hero: “Thank you Cocomel! After I tried this deliciousness in the form of a vegan caramel, I had an amazing experience. Thanks to your super power, I lost myself in a unique and sensorial journey of pleasure… and when I ‘came back,’ I had taken a deep breath, gotten grounded and was reminded of what life is all about. I’m now more connected to my true self and the real meaning of it all. It’s. All. So. Simple. Who needs keys anyway?”
The Moral: If everyone could just take a moment occasionally, as our hero did, to look deeply within themselves and forget the doctrine and conflicting messages we’re exposed to, the world may find itself a better place, covered in WORLD PEACE like a rich Cocomel sauce.
That’s how Cocomels can save the world.
Posted in News - Written by JJ on June 14, 2012 - 0 Comments
What a journey this is turning out to be. I created the first Cocomel a couple of years ago and humbly put it on the table of my booth at the Boulder farmers market. From that moment, watching people taste them and hearing their comments, I realized I was on to something. Now all I needed to do was to learn how to build a company and brand around this idea. Not a simple task it turns out…
For two years I’ve been learning as much I can, talking to those with experience, reading books and just getting out there and trying things. I’m pretty proud of what we’ve accomplished so far, being sold in over 150 satisfied stores, winning some great accolades and most importantly, getting to make you, the person who eats Cocomels, happy. I’ve received so many heartwarming comments that it’s hard for my often self-critical brain to get used to. Thank you.
About nine months ago I realized it was time to take all of my newly acquired knowledge and apply it to Cocomels. The first phase of the company I would dub the ‘proof of concept’ phase and I would re-launch applying all I now knew. First, I managed to convince some investors in the value of my little idea. With the money I hired a graphic design company to update our look and feel and also found, after much looking, an old refurbished caramel wrapping machine to help us make more Cocomels. Gloria, the woman who has lovingly wrapped 90% of Cocomels by hand, is now happily making sure the machine is living up to her high standard. It is able to create pieces similar in shape to our old ones, only smaller. As a result, you’ll notice that Cocomels will get cheaper per piece.
Cocomels will remain a premium product. They are hard to make and are cooked in small batches in copper kettles, made with organic ingredients whenever possible, fair trade chocolate, with fair wages being paid to my employees. It is not our goal to provide a cheap sugary treat, but rather a high-quality, unique and transcendent sweet that should be cherished and shared. Our motto is that when you eat sugar, you should eat it in moderation and in the form of special treats that really deliver.
I hope you like our new look, packaging, piece sizes as well as this new website. Know that this transition is meant to improve our product, get the packaging to reflect the uniqueness of what’s inside and to afford us the opportunity to supply more stores.
Please send us any comments or suggestions you might have as we always love to hear from you. Thanks again for your support and we hope you enjoy Cocomels even more in the future.
JJ – Chief Candyman
Posted in News - Written by JJ on June 8, 2012 - 0 Comments
JJ’s Sweets to Present Cocomels, the Original, Artisan-Crafted Coconut Milk Caramel, with New Packaging and Expanded Product Offering at Fancy Food Show.
JJ’s Sweets presents its expanded product offering of Cocomels, the original, artisancrafted, coconut milk caramel—in a newly-designed, “flagship” box—filled with rich, smooth and creamy caramel confections that are always gluten free, dairy free, GMO free and vegan. JJ’s Sweets will launch the newest offering at the Fancy Food Show in Washington, DC. Visit the company at the Buyer’s Best Friend Booth #229.
Dairy-free, caramel confectioner JJ’s Sweets is bringing its newest collection of hand-made, coconut milk treats, Cocomels – featuring a new look and an expanded product line – to the Fancy Foods Summer Show in Washington, DC. “We are extremely excited to exhibit at the 2012 Fancy Food Summer Show and feature our delicious, dairy-free, gluten-free, non-GMO caramels,” said JJ Rademaekers, Chief Candyman and Founder of JJ’s Sweets. “In anticipation of the show, we’ve expanded our product line to include an appealing new look and product offerings from Cocomels, the Original Coconut Milk Caramels. With our new ‘flagship’ box design plus a more convenient, grab and go ‘Pocket Pack’ size, as well as our original single Cocomels in display jars, the distinctive Cocomels package stands out on the shelf, as well as the countertop,” added Rademaekers.
The Fancy Foods Summer Show, held June 17-19, 2012, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington DC, is North America’s largest specialty food and beverage trade exhibition, attracting more than 2,400 exhibitors from 80 countries and regions. The Show will include more than 180,000 products including confections, cheese, coffee, snacks, spices, ethnic, natural and organic foods. JJ’s Sweets will sample its Cocomels caramels at the Buyer’s Best Friend Booth #229 at the show.
“Also, we look forward to featuring the newest Cocomels product selection, available in four flavors, including: Original, Sea Salt, Vanilla, and Java (made with organic espresso beans),” said Rademaekers. “Cocomels are hand-crafted in Boulder, Colorado, using only the finest, sustainably sourced, premium ingredients and organic sweeteners. Cocomels also are healthier than regular caramels thanks to the many benefits of coconut oil rather than dairy fat. Cocomels are vegan, gluten free, and corn and soy free. We hope you’ll visit our booth and try this new, award-winning take on caramel decadence!”
The company continues to capitalize on the growing U.S. market for specialty candy, including natural and artisanmade candy, reports Specialty Food Magazine in its Candy Forecast 2012.
“The biggest trend in candy is heading toward more natural, less manufactured confections,” says Kara Nielsen, a trendologist at the Center for Culinary Development in San Francisco. “Artisan candy producers are re-creating recipes for classic candies with great care and lovely packaging,” she adds.
JJ’s Sweets is positioned to springboard this launch off the company’s success at the 2012 Fancy Food Winter Show last January and the growing popularity of coconut products. Cocomels were featured as one of the top 14 confections at the show by the editor of CandyBlog, who reported, “I’ve had a few vegan caramels over the years and they kind of violate the essential definition of caramel in the first place, so it’s hard for me to appreciate them. JJ Rademakers has created something that gets so close and is such a good product in its own right. His JJ’s Cocomels are made with coconut milk instead of butter and cream. They’re fully emulsified and smooth but with strong caramelized sugar notes. Looks like a great option for both vegans and those sensitive to dairy.”
The Cocomels brand relaunch includes an updated logo, new package design, new product offerings, and sizes. In addition to capitalizing on healthy and nostalgic candy trends, the branding offers enhanced shelf appeal to grab customer’s attention and capture additional consumer price points.
Cocomels are now available in all four flavors with approximately 12 caramels in each “flagship” box, as well as the new 5-caramel Pocket Packs, which are a perfect size and price point for customers on the go. In addition, Cocomels are available for sale as singles in beautiful glass jar displays, custom-made for coffee shops, cafes, juice bars and retail or foodservice counters. For chocolate lovers, Cocomels singles are available covered in premium Fair Trade organic dark chocolate for an unparalleled caramel experience.
Posted in News - Written by JJ on June 6, 2012 - 0 Comments
JJ’s Sweets is JJ Rademaekers, founder, and the production team of Marjorie, Gloria and Rudy. To date, this lean mean Cocomel machine has supplied much of Colorado and retail locations in many other states, as well as our internet business. This is a snapshot of a growing team with one of our team mascots, Underbite.
Posted in News - Written by admin on May 9, 2012 - 0 Comments
As it became clear that my chosen path was to become a Candy Man, I began an internal debate on the pros and cons of getting into the sweets business. Is candy good or bad for you? Am I peddling delicious treats or some drug-like substance? As an avid student of health and nutrition I began to explore what I was getting into. I realized several things: first, that there are different types of health; second that the consumer’s habits are just that, the consumer’s; third, that candy is honest about what it is; and fourth, that I could improve upon conventional candy recipes to make them healthier for our bodies while still delivering on the treat-like decadence.
First: what is health? In my mind there are two types of health: physical and mental/spiritual health. Physical health is what we are most familiar with. How specific substances interact with our body’s chemistry and physiology. In this realm, candy is not particularly healthy. It is often (but not always) based on sugar, and too much sugar is not a good thing. Candy should therefore be eaten in moderation.
Where candy is healthy however is in the mental and spiritual realm. There are certainly times when we deserve a little something special. When eating an artfully crafted treat is just the thing to help lift our spirits. In this way, I believe candy falls into the same category as music, art and other fine foods: life would be livable without them, but what kind of a life would it be? We all know people that are militant about their nutrition, but at the end of the day are they really completely healthy when their spirit lacks that spark that comes from joyfulness and the occasional indulgence?
Second: Candies are like many of life’s special treats., they are meant for moderate consumption. You shouldn’t eat a gourmet French meal, fried foods, drink coffee, soft drinks, or alcohol every day. You shouldn’t watch TV, play video games all the time either. In moderation, however, these are all ok, even enriching. You cannot blame the treat when the consumer misuses it.
Third: Candy is honest, it does not try to hide what it is like many other sugar packed foods. Candy provides only 6 percent of the added sugar in the American diet, while sweet drinks and juice supply 46 percent. “There’s reason to believe that sugar in liquid form is actually worse than candy, because it fills you up and displaces healthier food choices,” says Rachel Johnson, a nutrition professor at the University of Vermont who was the lead author of the American Heart Association’s comprehensive 2009 review of the scientific literature on sugar and cardiovascular health.
Finally, why not try to make candy better for our bodies? Why not use organic sweeteners and get rid of herbicides and pesticides that are conventionally used? Why not replace corn syrup with organic brown rice syrup or organic tapioca syrup? Why not make a caramel without the dairy, using coconut milk with its healthy fats instead? Why not use herbs, spices and natural flavors in our candy rather than artificial ones? Why not deliver minerals by using high quality sea salt and other benefits by infusing some candy with herbs?
With each little step, making sure our treats are delicious throughout, candy can become a safe indulgence. A smile-maker. A conversation starter. A reward well earned. Please enjoy your sweets responsibly and remember,
Life is Sweet!