In Janet Shulman’s caramels, you’ll find local ingredients. Whether it is Schlafly beer or bacon from Missouri-based pigs, reports Ladue-Frontenac Patch.
Shulman, the mother of two, is a self-described â€œmompreneur.â€ As her children went off to school, she worked at various jobs and became known as a never-say-no volunteer. But she always felt it was important to share home-cooked meals at the end of the day with her husband and children.
â€œThen I realized I wanted to start a business where I could control the hours and that would embrace what I know and what I like to do,â€ she said. â€œAnd I love to cook.â€
So she launched The Baking House and set out to find a commercial kitchen she could borrow to create gourmet bakery goods. When she approached the Womenâ€™s Exchange in Ladue, she got the go-ahead plus a question that ended up sending her down a different path: â€œDo you know how to make caramel candy?â€
Having learned from her volunteer work that saying â€œyesâ€ and jumping in to things with both feet usually works out just fine, Shulman said â€œyes.â€
So she immediately went to work in her own kitchen, experimenting with recipes and improvising until she figured out how to make caramel.
These days she makes it in 20-pound batches in a leased kitchen in Clayton, pouring, cutting and wrapping each piece by hand and personally packaging all of it in recyclable bags and boxes. She fills custom orders ($18 for a half-pound gift bag, $36 for a one-pound box) through her website and delivers to about a dozen local stores.
Photo from The Caramel House