Candy Fantasy

By Amy Yerrington

Anyone who really knows me understands that I don’t just love candy--I consider it one of the five main food groups. So, stepping into Brandini Toffee Factory in Rancho Mirage was a fantasy come true. What I soon discovered was that I was not just entering another candy store, I was stepping into a passionate pursuit of candy perfection made with the finest ingredients--but most of all love.

The family-owned toffee shop has been an obsession for toffee lovers worldwide since 2006, a result of two high school friends who set out to make and sell toffee to fund a school trip to Italy. I was led through the toffee-making process by Brandon Weimer himself, who founded Brandini with best friend Leah Post. He has such passion for the toffee and his staff that you can just feel the passion as he talks. I’ve always felt you can tell when someone is totally living their purpose.

Brandini Toffee can be found on the shelves of major retailers all over, however, when you visit the Rancho Mirage store you get to see the magic happen in person with free tours of the factory. I wanted to take a bite out of everything in there, but I knew I didn’t want to just eat the candy. I wanted to make some too.

Brandon allowed me to take part in the toffee popcorn-making process. We got there about 7 a.m., but the staff had been hard at work since 5:30 a.m. Just observing everyone involved in the process was mesmerizing. After I got suited up, I began by covering the popcorn with a coating of chocolate. Rhythm is everything, according to Brandon, but even though I lift weights this was a tough task.  Next, we let the toffee cool before weighing, packaging and sealing. This part of the process was very precise.

At the end of the day, I had never felt so welcomed. Everyone at Brandini is treated like family. I also discovered why I can’t ever work in a candy factory--I would want to eat everything I was making!