We had the good fortune of connecting with Anita Bennett and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anita, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I grew up just east of Los Angeles in a much slower time. My father owned a small corner drugstore and I remember playing with our toys in the backroom as a child, and then helping out in the store as a young teenager until I was in my 20’s. I learned that owning your own business can be hard work but also extremely rewarding. I learned the important lesson that genuine and personal attention to our customers was the cornerstone of our small business. I’ve always loved to bake and make goodies in our kitchen. My mother, sister and I would make the family toffee as well as baked treats to give to family and friends for holidays, gatherings or just little thinking of you gifts. I learned that something delicious and handmade from the heart can be very powerful. As an adult I have always tried to bring these values to everything I do. And working in the corporate world it was clear that as life was moving faster and faster, it was more difficult than ever to find a unique and memorable gift, something really special to show we care. And that was the beginning of Sunset Bay Candy. We started by offering our family’s handmade toffee and soon expanded to other delicious candies and sweet treats. Our vision still is to offer candies that are handmade from the heart to bring back authentic and memorable connections. Our ability to recreate those days combined with impeccable customer service has made us the success we are today. Our signature toffees, barks and nuts are still handmade with the same love and care of years ago. And, we’ve added a Made-to-Order line including chocolate dipped Oreos, pretzels and our now famous little bites of heaven, Candy Cakes. You can find us at www.sunsetbaycandy.com and contact us at Anita@sunsetbaycandy.com Sunset Bay Candy, Sweet Treats Handmade From The Heart
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
We love our business, we’re passionate about it. We handmake our family’s favorite recipes exactly the same as we’ve done all these years. We make it in small batches and use only the best ingredients. We create authentic homestyle goodness so that our customers can connect and give something truly delicious and memorable. But the road has definitely been interesting. We started with this little old fashioned idea of building relationships and connections with handmade goodies.. We had no business experience and really didn’t know what we were getting into. Through the process, we studied, learned, made mistakes, stepped out and learned to juggle. And through it all, we’ve created a company to be proud of. Sunset Bay Candy stands for excellence in quality, customer service, and community.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There are so many things to see and do in the San Diego area but my favorite is still the beach. No matter the day or the weather, for 5 minutes or 5 hours, the beach holds a special connection for me. When folks come to visit, other than the beach we always go to Hunter’s Steakhouse Restaurant, located at the 5 and 78. Their lunches and dinners are always exceptional. Another “must visit” is Connie’s Restaurant in Vista. Connie serves up delicious authentic homestyle breakfast and lunch and we always love the cookie she bakes fresh every morning to give her customers with their check. When my girlfriends visit, we always visit Bliss Tea and Treats in Oceanside. Rushell and Al keep an amazing variety of teas, the food is delicious and then of course there are the treats! Speaking of treats, I also love D’Liteful Chocolat in San Marcos. Jayleen makes the absolute best truffles, macarons and other chocolate temptations. She also offers a macaron class, which is on my bucket list.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I was lucky to know and spend time with both of my grandmothers. Their personalities were very different, but each was strong and loving. I didn’t realize how much influence they had on me until I started this entrepreneurial journey. Without their strength and wisdom, I could not have overcome many of the challenges we faced starting a new business. As I began this journey, I was fortunate to find SCORE. This arm of the SBA has been invaluable to our success. Not only have I met with an amazing financial mentor, but also a mentor with experience and knowledge in marketing. SCORE also offers webinars, networking opportunities and on line training. Most of this is at no cost and I recommend them to businesses at any stage of their journey.