On a not so beautiful, rainy day I traveled from Lyme NH to Bradford VT on a quest to sample a few of Elaine McCabe’s increasingly popular caramel creations. And, by the way, it IS caramel, never carmel. Carmel is a lovely town by the sea in CA. Caramel is something that goes great with sea salt. It’s important that we get that straight, although I doubt this quick lesson will deter the mispronunciation. It’s like pecan- peekan vs peekhan. It depends on where you reside, I suppose. Anyway…
Elaine and her husband started Red Kite Candy in their home in Thetford VT, utilizing their kitchen and basement and creatively finding ways to make it all work. When it became apparent that they were actually going to continue their rapid growth, it also became necessary to start looking beyond their home and beyond the town of Thetford. When a friend mentioned a space off Industrial Rd in Bradford they decided to make the leap and gain some much needed breathing room. Newly open, they are reveling in the space, the efficiency and the welcome that they have received in Bradford. In addition to the candy making and shipping space, they set up a small retail store in the lobby . It’s open from 9-4 Monday through Saturday, so you can come get your sweet fix resolved 6 days a week. (They may be changing their retail hours in the future, so be sure to check their website, or give them a call before heading up to Bradford. Unless, of course, you are going to Farmway anyway- its just up the road, a stone’s throw away.)
Basically, Elaine began professionally making caramels and toffee in 2009. Original Caramels first, then Pecan, Sea Salt, Maple, Chai and Chocolate Sea Salt in that order. She also has a Hazelnut Mocha Caramel that she prepares occasionally, but it’s not part of the regular line up. She makes toffee that she originally sold only during the holidays, but is now part of the regular menu- Milk and Dark…and, coming soon, Maple. In addition, Nougat is offered seasonally but it is not a part of the Winter/Spring line up.
Her caramels are also used by other artisan sweet-makers. Morano Gelato uses Red Kite for their Sea Salted Caramel Gelato and Douglas Sweets incorporates Red Kite caramels into their incredibly wonderful Samoas. I see Red Kite everywhere! The Co-op carries them. And, you can find Red Kite in places like Stella’s in Lyme and Chapman’s in Fairlee if you are just looking for one or two.
Red Kite uses the best ingredients and buys local whenever they can- organic milk from local farms, Vermont Creamery butter, and pure Vermont maple syrup. You can taste the freshness and quality in Red Kite Candy. I love the Original, but Sea Salt was even better. And, don’t get me started on a caramel with pecans! I adore that combo.
If you haven’t tried a Red Kite caramel, you should. And, like potato chips, I’ll bet you can’t stop at one.