Happy Birthday, B.! Our boss lady is celebrating her birthday in San Francisco this weekend with her family, who was the inspiration behind the sophisticated, crunchy perfection of sweetness, the B. toffee.

For 8 years, Betsy Thagard has delivered her creation to many brides, business partners and customers across the country. She recalls, “ Starting a business has always been part of my make-up.”

Off and running at not-quite 16, she begged McDonald’s to hire her and became an assistant manager when she was still in high school. Her next step was the fashion world, working first for Saks Fifth Avenue and then for Nordstrom’s. “I got my AA degree at Saddleback Community College, but I was already doing what I wanted to do. Nordstrom’s was my college…”

Aside from a successful career, her love for cooking was still important, and she started making shortbread cookies and then toffee. Thagard’s buttery confection melds a sugary caramel crunch with a layer of chocolate coated in toasted pecans. It’s exactly what you want when you crave toffee.

Betsy would give the toffee to family and friends in pretty bowls, which she often found empty on her porch later (a not-so-subtle request for a refill). She also donated toffee to charity fundraisers. A number of people encouraged her to sell it, including two specialty stores in Newport Beach. It wasn’t until 2009 when Betsy’s children started college that the Newport Beach mom harnessed her culinary passion and created her business, B. toffee.

Our product is carried in all Dean & Deluca stores in the U.S. as well as selected Whole Foods location in Orange County and local markets and boutiques.

Thanks to Betsy and her delicious handcrafted toffee, Newport Beach is now an even sweeter place. Can’t wait to see what she has in store this year!