This February we are continuing one of yours and our favorite segments, Made in South Dakota. Every Monday morning this month KSFY News reporter Bridget Bennett will feature a product made somewhere in the state.
We begin way up North in Mobridge with Calla English Toffee.
"It started in 1991 out of a need for my children to go to college. We thought we might need some extra money. So my husband suggested that my English toffee was world renowned maybe I should just start an English toffee business," said Calla Toffee owner Vicki Rothstein.
Like many people, Rothstein's love of toffee began during her first holiday celebrations.
"I remember my mother bringing it home at Christmas time and she would tell us all to stay away for it because it was going to be for guests and entertainment. I always got into it, always got in trouble. So when I was older I searched out a recipe that I thought was similar, but my mother says mine is much better than the stuff she brought home," said Rothstein.
Today, anyone who tries her toffee says the same thing.
"Everyone that tastes it says it's the best they ever had," said Calla English toffee employee Carma Forward.
The secret is getting the recipe just right now matter who is making the batch.
"I have these wonderful ladies, my husband calls them the calla-babes and indeed they are. They come in and we have a good time they're excellent cooks. We do it all the same method, we repeat the same steps so that every batch is very uniform but it is totally hand made, and I'm very proud of that," said Rothstein.
You can find the beautifully packaged Calla Toffee all over the United States including some retail shelves across South Dakota, but a big part of the companies business comes from direct client orders.
"I have companies in Canada that use it, in Oklahoma, Florida...banks, investment brokers, insurance companies, doctors offices...my client list also has a lot of dentists on it," said Rothstein.
Rothstein makes and sells her toffee all year long, but with the big up swing at Christmas time, she has to call in lots of help.
"The first Christmas I sold English toffee I sold 50 boxes and I thought I had just made it, then last year we made two tons of toffee this Christmas season," said Rothstein.
She's had to expand into a large commercial kitchen that just happens to be attached to her husband's insurance office.
"When people walk in the first thing they say is oh it really smells good in here," said Forward.
Even after more than 20 years of making toffee, it's a smell Rothstein and her husband still enjoy.
"An insurance company doesn't normally have a kitchen attached that makes calla English toffee but my husbands clients just linger on with the smell of the toffee and they are some of my best customers," said Rothstein.
You can order Calla English toffee online anytime. If you're in Sioux Falls, you can purchase the toffee at the Home Porch on Phillips Avenue in downtown Sioux Falls.