Candy for Baby K ?! (plus a sweet giveaway from p.o.p. candy co.)

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Friends and other parents have asked me when I would offer baby K her first taste of candy and my first thought was Give K candy?!?! NEVER!!! And then I laughed…of course that wasn’t possible! K has already been exposed to candy (plus she’s already has had some chocolate ~ 100% cacao nibs) and I know how much I enjoy an occasional sweet treat, especially on special celebrations and holidays like Valentine’s Day. Never couldn’t be a good answer!

Rather than asking myself when a good time is to allow K to taste some candy, I think the bigger question I need to ask myself is what kind of candy are we going to allow K to enjoy. That means when selecting the type of candy I purchase, taking a good look at its ingredients first is necessary. First, the type of sweetener used to create its sweet goodness could range from real fruit, fruit sugars, maple, molasses and honey to agave, cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners like Splenda. Making sure the sugars used are natural and real is very important to me. Second, additional ingredients in most candy include additives, hardeners and preservatives…basically all the long words that are labeled on the back of its package. My rule is if I don’t know what it is, I won’t eat it (and that means K definitely won’t be having any of it either).

So you may be wondering if there actually is a candy out there that uses natural sugars and does not have additives, hardeners and preservatives. Well there’s great news! There is ONE candy that I LOVE (with the exception of 73% + cacao and soy-free dark chocolate which I actually consider a health food) that meets my criteria. What I am referring to is p.o.p. candy co.s delicious, flavorful butter crunch made by Santa Monica locals, Bill and Rachel. Not only do I love how they’re huge community supporters, I love how they use simple, natural ingredients like dairy butter, cane sugar, organic brown rice syrup, and whatever nut, fruit or herbs they include in it! They have a great variety of flavors including customer’s favorites: Rosemary Almond, Fire Pistachio, Brown Sugar & Cinnamon and C-C-Curry (my favorite!).

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As Community Perks partners, I had the chance to meet up with Bill and Rachel at the Mar Vista Farmers Market (they’re there every 3rd Sunday) and asked them to share a little about p.o.p. candy co..

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Tell me a little bit about yourself!

We are a hub-and-wife team that, amazingly, got married *after* starting p.o.p. candy co. six years ago. Bill has been in the food production for — let’s just say it — most of his life. (He’s pretty bonafide!) Rachel is a former restaurant owner, though her training has been in the nonprofit world, so when we started p.o.p., integrating a philosophy and mission statement into what we’re doing came naturally.  Great food and building community is what we’re about.

What makes your candy and other products unique?

We use farmer’s market herbs, premium spices, and real food to create our flavors. People are constantly surprised by the ingredients we use that you don’t normally find in toffee or brittle.  Shredded carrots in our carrot cake (a 2013 holiday special flavo); Groundworks coffee and fuji applies in a granola bar; natural sundried cherries in our Thyme, Walnut, and Cherries; anise in our no-nut p.o.p.. That and no corn syrup, no oils, only premium butter and nuts. We stand by every list of ingredients for every one of our flavors.

I think p.o.p. candy is a perfect treat for this Valentine’s Day, especially if you’re going to be enjoying something sweet with your little ones. We’ll be stopping by the Mar Vista Farmers Market this weekend to grab something sweet for our family for sure! In case you’re still on the lookout for a sweet treat for your loved one this Valentine’s Day, check out their Fire & Spice Hearts:

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Their smoky rich Fire Pistachio 3″ hearts are half double-dipped in premium Belgium chocolate that’s dark, semi-sweet, satiny, and incredibly delicious. Their flavor-bursting C-C-C-Curry 3″ hearts are half double-dipped in creamy white chocolate that’s rich in cocoa butter (oh my!). (C-C-C-Curry = combo of cinnamon + coconut + curry.) The butter crunch and chocolate pairings are mouth watering and PERFECT!

Two of each flavor hearts (so 4 total per order) are tucked in a p.o.p. kraft gift box that’s wrapped with a vellum band and satiny Valentine’s Day bow and “kissed” with sweet and salty Valentine’s Day messages. You can still get it delivered in time for Valentine’s Day if you live locally and place your order by TONIGHT (2/11/14)!!!

Also…Bill and Rachel are offering a 10% discount (enter SantaMonicaMama10 at the checkout) to Santa Monica Mama readers so be sure to apply that to your order.

And finally…

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Enter our giveaway !!!!

Bill & Rachel will be giving away a Crazy 8 Pack of assorted p.o.p. butter crunch flavors!

Check out their variety of flavors. Which of their flavors are you most wanting to try?

I’m still waiting (though not pushing) for the day baby K really shows in an interest in trying some candy…p.o.p. candy, that is. And I am wondering which flavor she’d like most 🙂

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