Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tip #185: Support the next generation of candy makers

Each profession serves its purpose for making the world go round, candy makers and chocolatiers just have a special way of making that journey so much more enjoyable.

If you are reading this, chances are you are pretty passionate about candy making. Whether your fondness came from a lifetime of learning through the family business or if it materialized more organically, that fondness keeps you coming back for more day after day.

As a treasured recipe is passed from generation to generation, so should the joy and love for the art of candy making. Keep the magic of the industry alive for generations to come by supporting the next generation of candy makers by mentoring a young family member or offering advice to a start-up. When doing so, keep in mind it may be just as important to share what you love about your business and the industry as a whole as it is to teach responsible business practices and time-proven techniques.

Share what you love about your business or the confectionery industry and your comment may be featured in the next issue of Kettle Talk, RCI’s quarterly magazine for members.

Not a member? Learn how RCI can help you build your sweet business at retailconfections.org/join.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Tip # 184: Register Your Business with the FDA

In an effort to protect the public and ensure safe food is provided by food manufacturers, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires registration of all food manufacturing facilities. These regulations are part of the Food Safety Modernization Act enacted in 2011. We’ve provided answers below to some common FAQs regarding registering with the FDA.

Why is food facility registration a requirement?
Food facility registration will help the FDA determine the location and source of a potential outbreak of food-borne illness and quickly notify facilities that may be affected.

Who has to register?
The registration requirements apply to food facilities that manufacture, process, pack or hold food for human and animal consumption in the United States. Therefore, if you are a facility making chocolates and candies, then you should be registered with the FDA.

Do I register one time?
Food facilities are required to submit an initial registration to the FDA only once. After that, you must renew registration with the FDA every other year during the period beginning on October 1 and ending on December 31 of each even-numbered year. This means every food facility should be renewing their registration this year as 2016 is an even-numbered year.

Do I have to resubmit all information to renew?
FDA will provide an abbreviated biennial registration renewal process for a registrant of a facility that has not had any changes to its registration information.

Does it cost to register? There is no fee for registration or updates to a registration.

How do I register? Register online at FDA.gov by entering a search query for “Registration of Food Facilities,” or request the paper materials by calling 800-216-7331 or 301-575-0156.

How is registration confirmed? After you register your facility, the FDA will confirm the registration and assign a registration number. The information provided here is directly from the FDA website, FDA.gov. For direct links to materials from the FDA, including industry guidance for food facility registration, visit the GMPs page on the RCI website when signed in as a member (found under the Member Resources tab).

Not a member? Learn how RCI can help you build your sweet business at retailconfections.org/join.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Tip #183: Chalkboard Like a Pro

Even if you aren’t a skilled artist, creating beautiful and trendy chalkboard signs  can be achieved with these 5 tips and tricks from the pros.
  • Use a Level and a ruler for straight lines and even spacing
  • Pick your tool – mechanical chalk pencil, chalk pencil (intended for marking fabric when sewing), chalk marker or real chalk.
Four types of chalk as illustrated by Jones Design Company. From top to bottom: mechanical chalk pencil,
chalk pencil by Fons and Porter, chalk marker, and good, old fashion chalk
  • A damp cloth and a handful of Q-Tips can work wonders when it comes to correcting mistakes and cleaning up smudges. 
  • DIY stencils – If you plan to use an image more than once (your logo or a chocolate truffle with a swirl) make your own stencil with vellum paper. You can easily trace any printed image by placing vellum over the print. 
Depending on your skill level, creating artful chalkboards can take lots of patience and practice. If you don’t have time for either of these, try this quick and easy chalkboard hack from Buzzfeed.

Not a member? Learn how RCI can help you build your sweet business at retailconfections.org/join.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Tip # 182: Just Whip It: Truffles

For many, the truffle is the ultimate chocolatey confection. Made with high-quality chocolate and cream, traditional truffle centers are minimally processed offering rich flavor and a velvety mouthfeel.

Try a variation to the traditional truffle recipe, which will quickly become a new customer favorite.

For a light and airy melt-in-your-mouth truffle center, whip the cooled truffle center in a mixer until it becomes fluffy. With the incorporation of air, the color will become noticeable lighter. The final density will be approximately 0.75 gm/Ml giving your truffles a completely different texture, while keeping the same great flavor.

This is an excerpt from the first quarter issue of Kettle Talk in 2014. Click here to view the full article which offers more tips on making delicious meltaways and truffles as written by Randy Hofberger of R&D Candy Consultants, LLC.