We had the good fortune of connecting with Leslie Power and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Leslie, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
My name is Leslie Power and I am the co-creator of 3 Sisters’ Toffee located in San Clemente, California. My grandmother was an incredible cook. In the late 80’s she came across a recipe for english toffee in the newspaper, and she refined the toffee over the years and it became her signature gift at Christmas time. My sisters and I grew up making and eating the decadent toffee. Fast forward to 2009. My husband needed some corporate gifting for his company. I knew the gifts needed to be memorable and standout. I quickly knew that my grandmothers toffee would be the perfect gift. That first Christmas I put together 25 baskets full of English Toffee and it was a hit! The next year at Christmas time my sisters (I have two younger sisters) decided they wanted to do the same gifts for their businesses and we decided to brand the company and call it “3 Sisters’ Toffee.” In 2009 my kids were little and so I only made and sold the toffee at Christmas time, but every Christmas I knew the company had huge potential because it grew substantially every year. After a few years and some reasonable great success my grandfather who by now was in his late 80’s took me aside and said, “Leslie, you have something here, this toffee could be it’s own company, I just know it could.” Now most people wouldn’t think twice about someone saying that, but my grandfather was an incredible businessman. He built the Mine Ride and the Log Ride at Knotts Berry Farm and he was a big deal in the amusement ride industry. He also owned and sold multiple companies. He had serious confidence in my grandmas toffee and that helped fuel my confidence in it. As my kids have grown older I have grown the business. I now run the company year round. I hold a cottage B Food License by the Orange County Health Department which allows me to make the toffee in my kitchen at home, which is amazing! The license allows me to sell in stores and multiple hotels. I am currently in 5 stores and 3 hotels. My newest hotel is The Inn at Mission in San Juan Capistrano. I have been approached by other stores in the Orange County area, but to be honest this last Christmas I was so overwhelmed with orders I had to turn the stores down. I live in San Clemente and this little town has been a huge supporter of my small business. It’s one of the reasons I have had such amazing growth in the last few years. 3 Sisters’ Toffee started because I needed a gift that would be memorable. I knew people would taste this toffee and be like….”who gifted us that toffee?” That worked in favor for the company gifting the toffee and 3 Sisters’ Toffee. My corporate gifting has grown every year because I will get a corporate order and then they always return the next Christmas. My corporate clients tell me their clients anxiously await their 3 Sisters’ Toffee at Christmas. I’m not sure if 3 Sisters’ Toffee will ever be more than me making hundreds of pounds of toffee in my kitchen, but I can tell you I know my grandparents are smiling on from above over the success their granddaughters have had with it.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
When I first started 3 Sisters’ Toffee it was to fill a need for my husbands company, but it has turned into something so much more for me. I love it! I love waking up early in the morning and cooking toffee. During Christmas time I’m up at 4am every morning. The house is quite and I love those early morning hours because I accomplish so much. This last Christmas I made over 1000 lbs of toffee. If someone would have told me that my company would have scaled to where it is today, I wouldn’t have believed them. It’s not that my company is huge by the standards of the world, but I do what I love and I make a pretty nice side income with it. How have I gotten here? I would say one of my favorites quotes is by President Rusell M. Nelson and it’s “The Lord loves effort because effort brings rewards that can’t come without”. I have put lots of effort into 3 Sisters’ Toffee and that has helped this little company grow!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I live in San Clement California. It’s a fun little beach town. I frequently have visitors during the summer. When they come you will find us down at Riviera Beach also known to locals as Rivi. We take lunch down there and bask in the sun for the day. When night comes it’s fun to hop on the San Clemente Trolly and go down to Del Mar Street. It’s a fun little street with lots of great places to eat and shop. We will usually grab an ice cream bar at South Swell Ice Cream and then take the Trolly down to the pier. I would tell you I just summed up most of my summer days in San Clemente with my family!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My grandmother! She was an amazing person and cook! She loved to gather her family around her. She would cook amazing meals for us and we would sit around the table and enjoy one another’s company and eat amazing meals. She has passed that tradition on to her grandchildren. Food is a big part of our life!
Facebook: 3 Sisters Toffee