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Fraser Valley Gourmet knows that food is a powerful force that brings people together. Case in point? The artisan candy company was built on the Almond Butter Crunch that founder, Kathy Geiger, gave as Christmas gifts for 20 years. The more friends and family tried the homemade candy, the more they pleaded with Kathy to make the handmade candy available for sale.


So in 2006, she finally did - and her Almond Butter Crunch leapt off of retail shelves.


In 2016, Kathy passed the baton to 3 friends - Jan, Adri, and David - all whom happen to be professional chefs. The move saw Fraser Valley Gourmet go from beloved local treat to being sold in stores across the nation.

 

 

Fraser Valley Gourmet
From left: David, Jan & Adri of Fraser Valley Gourmet

 

While they’ve grown in size, they still hand make their candy in small batches out of their Langley kitchen with no artificial colours, flavours, additives or preservatives. We’re talking tens of thousands of units of candy all mixed, melted, poured, and cut by hand.


At the end of the day, Jan, Adri, and David’s commitment to hand making treats with the finest ingredients is only bolstered by the joy of connecting with others. “We strongly believe there is no better way to end of a day than by sharing great tasting candy with friends.”

 

Fraser Valley Gourmet
Handmaking candy in their Langley kitchen.

 

We recently spoke with Jan Keyser, Co-owner of Fraser Valley Gourmet to learn a little bit more about the team, as well as the joys and challenges of making candy for a living.

 

 

What made you, Adri and David come on board with Fraser Valley Gourmet?

As we are all three classically trained chefs, we have a great love for the culinary world. The pastry kitchen in particular has always had so many secrets to share. Buying Fraser Valley Gourmet from the founder was a natural step. Everything about the product is gourmet, handmade and delicious.


What’s your favourite local neighbourhood, and why?


Fort Langley. It is brimming with interesting shops, but still has that small town feel. I love Republica coffee roasters for a great cup of coffee, Fort and Co for clothes, and Lalem for a Sunday morning breakfast.


What’s the best part about your job?

I love the challenge of running a small gourmet business like Fraser Valley Gourmet, making everything using only the best ingredients, and the family-feel of everyone that works with Fraser Valley Gourmet.

What's the best feedback you've ever gotten about your candy?

A lot of people actually call it the best candy they have ever tasted. Seeing the look of delight on peoples faces when they try it for the first time is amazing!

What's been your greatest challenge with Fraser Valley Gourmet?

Not eating all the candy before I sell it. (Just kidding).


We are constantly coming up with new ideas, recipes and flavours that would work well together. The greatest challenge has been knowing when to launch a new product and when to hold on the excitement of a new product until the right time to launch.

 

Fraser Valley Gourmet
Lemon Chai Almond Butter Crunch

 

What's next for Fraser Valley Gourmet?


At the end of last year we launched two new flavours - Lemon Chai and Espresso Almond Butter Crunch. We’ve had an extremely positive response and have seen our products enjoyed by some new and different customers. Especially the lemon chai - people have loved that there’s no other candy flavours like it and found it really unique.


We’re currently experimenting with blending maple and cranberry together. They’re very traditionally Canadian flavours to we’re excited to see them come together soon. I can’t say when it will be ready - you’ll just have to wait and see!