What happens when chefs and friends come together with the desire to be creative? You get delicious bites, known as Liddabit Sweets, featuring handmade caramels, chocolates, honeycomb candy, baked goods, and more. Based in Brooklyn, NY, Liz Gutman and Jen King, both WIBO alumnae founded the company based on a project they completed during culinary school.
We took a few minutes to check-in with Liz and Jen to learn more about the duo’s entrepreneurial journey.
WIBO: Your company’s name is unique. How did you come up with the name?
Liz and Jen: It originally came from a childhood nickname of mine (Liz’s) – when we were small, my brother had trouble pronouncing Elizabeth and it came out “Liddabit”. I then used that in a class project in pastry school (where Jen and our partner Joan and I met and became friends). The assignment was to come up with a restaurant concept and design a dessert menu around it, then prepare the desserts on the menu. I decided mine would be a small-plates restaurant called Liddabit (because you get to try a little bit of everything).
Fast forward to when we started the business. When our application to the Brooklyn Flea Market was accepted, it was a pleasant surprise; but, we only had a few weeks to turn our concept into an actual business. That meant finalizing product line, pricing, packaging, filing paperwork – all of it happened very quickly. When it came time to decide on a name, Jen mentioned she liked ‘Liddabit.’ We thought it worked well for a candy company, so we went ahead with it!
WIBO: Tell us about Liddabit Sweets.
Liz and Jen: Liddabit Sweets is a candy company based in Brooklyn, New York, specializing in handmade caramels, chocolates, honeycomb candy, baked goods…well, you get the idea. Every single thing we make is measured, cooked, dipped, wrapped, and packaged by hand, and we use only the best ingredients we can find – never any artificial flavors, preservatives, or other funny stuff. We produce everything in our kitchen at Industry City in Sunset Park and sell our treats at our adjoining retail shop, our online store, and to over 50 retailers nationwide.
WIBO: What inspired you to start your business?
Liz and Jen: We were both working in food, which can be very repetitive work; and we wanted to work on something together that would allow us to be a little more creative. The inspiration behind the company was the humble American candy bar, and how our experiences eating candy bars as adults never lived up to the deliciousness we remembered as children; they always tasted overly sweet and bland. So we decided to take candy bars and caramels to the next level by making them in small batches with really excellent ingredients.
WIBO: What was one of the most difficult challenges you had to overcome while starting your business?
Liz and Jen: Finding a home for our kitchen was tough. We moved through five different shared kitchen spaces within five years. Some spaces were better than others, but we were always constrained by the size and accessibility of those spaces. When we finally built out our own kitchen and shop in 2014, it increased our capacity by 300 percent.
WIBO: How has WIBO helped you in regards to starting or growing your business?
Liz and Jen: We discovered WIBO through our mentor and friend Mike Blumenfeld (WIBO Board Member). He was generous enough to meet with us within a year of us starting the company.
WIBO was instrumental in helping us form the foundation for our entrepreneurial education. Because the business plan course is so comprehensive and interactive, we were able to look at our business from every angle and create a baseline for how we wanted it to grow and where we wanted it to end up. The peer network is excellent, too! We met so many inspiring entrepreneurs in our class at every level of business ownership, from those starting with a new idea to those who have been in business for seven years and going strong.
Connect to Liddabit Sweets
Shop online: liddabitsweets.com
Visit the Store:
Liddabit Sweets @ Industry City
220 36th St. (Entrance also available at 254 36th)
Brooklyn, NY 11232
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