Sweet success born of adversity

Plano resident Ernie Bolen stirs up a sweet batch of Mamie's Toffee.
Plano resident Ernie Bolen stirs up a sweet batch of Mamie's Toffee.

PLANO — It’s been said that necessity is the mother of invention. Plano resident Ernie Bolen can attest to that.

Like so many other poeple, the owner of Mamie’s Toffee had lost his job as a print salesman, and eventually lost his home. After hearing from several friends that he should sell the toffee his wife, Pam, had perfected over the past few years, he decided to give it a try.

“I took the last $600 we had in the bank and bought the ingredients. On Facebook we asked people to pray for us, buy from us and share with others,” Bolen said.

In four weeks, he said he had sold more than 400 pounds of toffee. And that was just the beginning.

Mamie’s Toffee sells toffees, brittles, carmels and tiger butter – which is peanut butter and two kinds of chocolate – through its website, www.mamiestoffee.com.

Selling at a variety of craft shows and markets, Bolen said he made a connection with Albanese Confectionary Candy Outlet Store in Merrillville, Ind.

“We have a growing relationship with them. They are selling our old-fashioned peanut brittle, cashew brittle and pecan brittle,” Bolen said. He recently delivered 500 pounds to the store.

Working in Plano’s Wurst Kitchen, Bolen said he has used several kitchens around the area before landing back in Plano.

As one way to give back to those who have supported the business, Bolen offers “Random Acts of Candy.” Friends and fans are invited to nominate someone they believe deserves a candy treat, and it will be delivered.

“We just drive around giving out candy,” Bolen said with a grin. He said he believes it shows his children the joy of giving back.

“We’ve delivered outside the greater Fox Valley area. We’ve been to downtown Chicago and as far south as Alsip. We have a blast doing it,” Bolen said.

For more on Mamie’s Toffee or to place an order, visit www.mamiestoffee.com or find Mamie’s Toffee on Facebook.

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