Amelia Island is small barrier island with 13 miles of gorgeous beaches off the northeast coast of Florida near Jacksonville. This magical place is also home to Amelia Toffee Company. When founder Anita Comisky was a child, one of her fondest memories was making toffee with her namesake – her grandmother Anita Lester.
Anita’s toffee today is based on that original recipe with a modern twist her grandmother never used. Seeing the growing popularity of gourmet coffee and tea shops and craft breweries, Anita wanted her toffee to be unique. She infuses Amelia Toffee with liquors and other flavors like coffee and green tea. Because Grandma Anita did love a good bourbon, she pays homage to her with bourbon toffee!
Exceptional Toffee Deserves an Exceptional Box
Looking for extra-special packaging for her gourmet treats, Anita found Nashville Wraps at the Fancy Food Show. She explains, “We quickly became fans of Nashville Wraps because of the quality. The product and packaging must be of equal quality to ensure our brand and image meets customer expectations. We, too, have high expectations and Nashville Wraps meets our expectations. Their Gourmet Presentation Boxes add a bit of elegance to our packaging.”
Amelia Toffee has also started using Zip Top Window Bags from Nashville Wraps. These heavy duty pouches have a zipper top, clear window and stand-up gusset bottom for easy shelf display. The high barrier design keeps toffee fresh and delicious.
“We use the same packaging year-round,” says Anita. But for Valentine’s Day, we try to create a more romantic flair. During Christmas we change our labels a bit to be more festive and use the Peppermint Stripe Presentation Boxes because they mirror the colors in our logo.
A Little Bourbon in Your Toffee?
“We believe a brand is more than just packaging and a good logo. It’s your voice on social media, how you relate to your customers, our imagery and most importantly, our product. We try to stay true to who we are – a small-batch, handcrafted toffee maker. We use only the best ingredients and painstakingly select each piece that goes into each package, not compromising anything.
“Our product has to be as beautiful as the packaging and vice versa. All of these elements come together to create a brand, which is so important for small businesses to remember. Our long-term goal is to be known as the toffee leader both nationally and internationally.”
Multi-Channel Marketing Success
As a multi-channel toffee maker with a diverse customer base, they sell through local retailers and partnerships like the Omni Amelia Island Plantation, Ritz-Carlton and the Paradies Shoppes (airport retailers). Their presence throughout the Southeast is getting ready to expand since they recently entered into an agreement with Sea Breeze Food Distribution. This partnership will help them reach restaurants and coffee shops in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia.
“We’re finding that our customer base has gone from the typical customer wanting an evening treat to destination planners who are private labeling our toffee for corporate events, such as the Concours d’Elegance held on Amelia Island. We’re excited to even have chefs using our toffee in their recipes! Because of this, we are aggressive in our pursuit of regional and national retailers, so stay tuned – maybe you’ll see us in the Nashville market! And of course, our fans can always order online.”
Partnering with the Chamber of Commerce
Amelia Toffee works closely with the Amelia Island Fernandina Beach Yulee (AIFBY) Chamber of Commerce and the Jax Chamber (Jacksonville, FL). Anita explains, “There’s a great sense of community and everyone helps each other to prosper and succeed. This played a significant role in our initial success locally. Those relationships have helped us grow, develop our brand and expand our network as a small business. Anita won 1st Place last year for the JAX Chamber local entrepreneur pitch contest!”