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[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640"]artisan caramel Julie-Anne Cassidy Photography[/caption]


While visiting friends one evening, a bag of candid confectioner caramels emerged. They had been newly discovered during our friend's visit to Vancouver's world famous Vij's Restaurant. Since Saul Good is continually on a mission to curate the most delectable delights in BC, we were thrilled to experience these lovingly handmade, melt-in-your-mouth confections. 


[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="625"]24spice tray 9 in wide LOW Julie-Anne Cassidy Photography[/caption]


Like all of our favourite artisan products, it was love at first bite. The unique soft gooey goodness had a compelling story to share and we became determined to include these treats in our Vancouver gift baskets. As we pursued this new artisan, we discovered a delightful story.


The Story of the candid confectioner


One day, Stephanie Chan (image below) decided that she wanted to make something special to appreciate the boisterous women that worked in the Rangoli restaurant with her. They didn't seem too impressed with ordinary candy...so Stephanie challenged herself to get creative and come up with something both surprising and delightful. This challenge gave birth to her signature chai caramels.


[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="625"]Stephanie Chan Julie-Anne Cassidy Photography[/caption]


When the women received these unique confections, they were pleasantly surprised and created quite a fuss. This sparked the curiosity of Vikram Vij, who is the owner of Rangoli and the world famous Vij's Restaurant. When he tried the caramels, he was completely blown away. Since this discovery, Vikram and his wife Meeru have been encouraging Stephanie with insightful guidance gained from their experience as entrepreneurs. They have also been a source of inspiration, because they do a lot of good through business.


[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="625"]25-caramels in bowl 9 in wide LOW Julie-Anne Cassidy Photography[/caption]



"One of my goals is to be successful enough that I can be actively involved in the local community and use business as a platform for pursuing political and social/economic issues that I am passionate about". explained Stephanie. "I love how Vikram and Meeru demonstrate their passion for sustainability. One of many examples is when Meeru hosted a delicious honey tasting at Shanik, (her restaurant in Seattle). She used this event as an instrument to create awareness about colony collapse." said Stephanie



[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="625"]21-chopping board, orchid, red spice 9 in wide LOW Julie-Anne Cassidy Photography[/caption]


Since launching the candid confectioner, there has been tremendous momentum. This has led to long hours perfecting and wrapping each lovingly handmade caramel. Her success is most certainly well earned.


[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="526"]chocolate gifts Martin Knowles Photography[/caption]


In the kitchen, Stephanie uses whole ingredients that are seasonal, local and organic when possible. The types of caramels include Old-Fashioned: Bourbon & Orange, Bailey’s with Espresso-Infused Sea Salt and Meyer Lemon – Lavender. In our Christmas gift baskets, we are excited to be featuring Stephanie’s Chai caramels that are infused with excellent chai tea. We are also delighted to be featuring her raspberry caramels in our chocolate gift baskets. Stephanie goes the extra mile and actually juices local BC raspberries when they are in season. 



[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="625"]7-book, spice, yellow flower 9 in wide LOW Julie-Anne Cassidy Photography[/caption]


In order for Vancouver's local artisans to thrive, we need to be collaborative and supportive. Vikram Vij offered his shop as way to incubate Stephanie's creations. Saul Good Gifts are also a great way of supporting local artisans like Stephanie. We are proud to function as an incubator for local artisanal talent. Our support is provided with a steady flow of orders and constructive feedback. It is exciting watching our local BC artisans expand their capacity each year. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for the candid confectioner.  


[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640"]23-wrap unwrap + spices 9 in wide LOW Julie-Anne Cassidy Photography[/caption]