We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Nancy Flint a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Hi Nancy, thanks for joining us today. So, naming is such a challenge. How did you come up with the name of your brand?
People always get a kick out of my business name, Sugar Mamma Caramels for so many reasons. 1. It’s funny!
2. It’s a play on Sugar Daddy caramel candy
3. My business is making sweets, so naturally , “sugar” had to be part of the name (although, my business name could just as fittingly be, “Butter Babe!” Haha!
4. I’m an Italian/American Mamma, so that had to be in the name. Not only am I the mamma of 2 fabulous daughters, but literally all of their friends have always called me Mamma, and now so does everyone else!
5. Food is my love language, and mammas are all about love, so my treats are truly made with love.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
I got into the dessert business because of wonderful encouragement from family and friends. For many years I had been making and giving Sea Salt Caramels as Christmas gifts which everyone loved! Everyone told me to enter a local candy making contest, so I finally did. I won! I was interviewed on a local morning show and the hosts loved my Sea Salt Caramels so much, they asked where they could buy them! That was my “Aha moment,” and I decided it was time to start my own business. I jumped through all the many hoops required to own a CFO in San Diego (Certified Food Operation.) This means that I am licensed and permitted to cook and sell from my home kitchen, which really comes in handy since I often work 12-15 hours a day! I think it’s incredibly important to seek out and support your local CFO’s because we get inspected by the Department of Health just like restaurants, so you know we are following safety guidelines. We also pay hefty permit fees so we small businesses really need your support! I provide many types of desserts!
Caramels, cookies, chocolates, toffee, brownies, sauces, marshmallows…
A problem many people have these days is lack of time. I can solve your gifting needs by doing all the cooking of sweet treats for you, all packaged and ready to gift!
I think what really sets me apart from others is that I only use the highest quality ingredients, locally sourced whenever possible, and truly made with love!
I am most proud of building Sugar Mamma Caramels + Cookies all by myself. Truly every step of the way, every single day.
I want my clients to know that quality and care go hand in hand with my business. Nearly not a day goes by that a customer tells me my products are the best they have ever tasted! Tasting is believing, so order some Sugar Mamma goodies and see for yourself!
Can you share a story from your journey that illustrates your resilience?
I think the best story that illustrates my resilience goes back to my battle with cancer. At only 40 years of age , I was diagnosed with Stage IV Non Hodgkins Lymphoma. That means it’s in your blood, multiple organs and even bone marrow. My daughters were only 8 and 10 years old and I was extremely sick from the cancer and the chemo for 2.5 years. But by the grace of God, science and the enormous amount of help from friends and family, I survived!
I had to retire early from my dream career as a Lactation Consultant/Childbirth Educator/Doula. Now comes the good part!
My daughters missed my loving care so much that they asked me to home school them for a few years and it was marvelous! I got stronger and stronger and knew I could do just about anything! We had such fabulous life experiences and I treasured every moment knowing I was blessed to be alive!
This all gave me the confidence to launch Sugar Mamma Caramels. When you’ve been through near death experiences or great hardships, and survive, you can choose to thrive or fade away. I chose to thrive! I believe many women and mothers are especially equipped to go the extra mile and push through to find your next big passion and joy!
How’d you build such a strong reputation within your market?
I think what helped me build my reputation within the desserts market is twofold. 1. I am known as the “Collab Queen” here in San Diego! I love to partner with other small local businesses to create products in my line. For example, I partner with Parabola Coffee (@parabolacoffee) to make my Coffee Caramels and Mike Hess Brewing (@mikehessbrewing) to make my Beer and Pretzels Caramels. Both flavors are incredibly popular and bursting with bold flavors! I firmly believe we are better together and need to support one other.
2. I have been blessed to have won multiple awards for my caramels and desserts over the years which obviously gets my business name out there much more broadly than I can I my own. I am extremely happy to have been voted “Favorite Dessert” in San Diego for several years in a row by the readers of the San Diego Union Tribune!