For today's Shop Small Saturday Showcase feature, I have yet another delicious shop: Praline Patisserie! As you know by now, I am a huge foodie, so I loved trying each flavor and item they had on display. Besides the more typical flavors, Praline Patisserie had some unique confiture and candied nut flavors that I had never seen before, which were incredibly delicious! Also, they pride themselves on natural, handmade, small-batch production, which explains the high quality of their products.
Want to try some for yourself? After the interview, make sure to enter the giveaway to win a three-pack of the amazing caramel sauces! That is one each of the Fleur de Sel, Smoked Applewood, and Dark Chocolate. They are all amazing, so I know that you will want to enter to win!
Tell me a little bit about yourself!
I began working in fine dining about ten years ago. I originally went to culinary school interested in savory cooking but once classes began I found that Pastry was my calling when I saw the art and precision involved in baking. I spent my youth working on motorcycles and mechanics so pastry for me was similar in that it there is a lot of science behind the final product.
Where did the name of your store come from?
Praline Patisserie is representative of my love for traditional pralines and, Patisserie is french for bakery which really represents the finesse and quality that we hope to bring to all of our products.
Why did you start making goods for Praline Patisserie?
Making goods for Praline Patisserie was initially away to earn extra money to save for a store-front Patisserie; however, it evolved into a full-time manufacturing operation where we now make six flavors of caramel sauce and have started additional lines of confections. I really enjoy the systems behind running an efficient manufacturing line and having control of the high quality of the product.
What is your favorite item?
My favorite item is our Smoked Applewood Caramel Sauce. This was one of the first caramel flavors that I ever made and it combines savory and sweet for a resulting deep, complex taste. I think people are surprised by how truly smoky the caramel is. It pairs beautifully with everything from sweet grilled pineapple to cheese trays. It is very versatile.
What is your most popular item?
Our most popular item is our most classic caramel flavor -- Fleur de Sel caramel sauce.
Where do you get the inspiration for your work?
I am inspired by other great chefs from all over the world -- I read a lot of cookbooks and I enjoy experimenting with unique flavor profiles.
What makes your store unique?
I think that the fact that our products are all-natural, handmade in small batches with high-quality ingredients and reasonably priced is really unique in a market where it is challenging to find confections that are not full of corn-syrup, dyes, preservatives and artificial colors and flavors at a reasonable price.
What is the toughest part about making your goods/your artistic process?
The toughest part for me is focusing on one product line -- I have a hundred ideas for items that I want to make and product lines that I want to start -- there is not enough time in the day!
Do you take custom orders?
We do have custom orders for small 2 ounce jars of caramel sauce -- we do a lot of weddings and showers as the caramel sauce makes a great personalized party favor. Lead time for these orders is at 30 days.
Where can I see more of your work and buy a gift?
Besides the caramel sauces (which you can enter to win below), make sure to check out their confiture and nut flavors on their website. Simply amazing!