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Photo by Sarah Cook.
Lynn Woolf describes her toffee as hard in texture but smooth and decadent in taste. While most toffee tends to stick to teeth, Over the Top Toffee offers a more enjoyable experience, she said.
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Photo by Sydney Cromwell.
Over the Top Toffee currently offers four flavors: peanut butter swirl, Southern pecan, white macadamia and peppermint.
Over the Top Toffee has only been in business for a few months, but its secret recipe has been brewing for decades. Lynn Woolf, an Inverness resident and owner of the budding cottage business, first entertained the idea of taking her family’s heirloom candy recipe to the next level about 15 years ago.
“We have a [toffee] recipe in our family, and my mom made it, but I never ate it because I didn’t think I was much of a toffee person,” Woolf said.
After Woolf’s sister encouraged her to give the sweet another try, however, her mind was delightfully changed.
“I took one bite, and my reaction was the same as what I’ve gotten from so many people since I’ve started making toffee — joy,” Woolf said.
Now, Woolf said she can’t make the sweet stuff fast enough. Many nights, she said, have been spent making pounds of toffee for eager customers from her home kitchen. Her business officially took off this past holiday season after she decided to take the plunge and make toffee fulltime.
“It’s such a great product that I always knew I wanted to elevate it and go into some kind of business with it,” she said. “I just never had the time before. I was in corporate America, and I was slammed. It all came down to timing.”
The toffee’s first debut, Woolf said, was at the Inverness Country Club.
“I had no clue what to anticipate the night before,” she said. “I just wanted to make sure I had a lot of product.”
Since that first sale, Woolf estimated she’s made about $3,000 worth of toffee — toting around the candy in her car and selling to friends and anyone else who knows about the candy. Most of her business, she said, has been generated by word of mouth.
Woolf recalled consecutive nights spent hovering over the stove, making pound after pound of toffee.
“I was literally standing there, exhausted, doing this out of the sheer love of making toffee,” she said with a laugh.
Woolf credits her candy’s popularity to its intentionality. While most commercially-made toffee abides by a streamlined process, Woolf waits for exactly the right moment to let the toffee mixture set, then she sprinkles the mixture with a cocktail of toppings such as peanut butter, pecans, peppermint or white chocolate.
Toffee is made, Woolf explained, by combining “a lot of sugar and a lot of butter.”
“That’s really what it boils down to,” she said.
Woolf offers four core flavors — peanut butter swirl, Southern pecan, white macadamia and peppermint — and she said she’s played around with the idea of experimenting with new ingredients and toppings.
“I knew this was a great product and I knew it had great flavor and unbelievable potential, but I don’t think I’ve even scratched the surface yet as far as what this toffee could end up doing,” she said. “It’s pretty exciting to think about.”
As far as what lies ahead for Over the Top Toffee, Woolf said it’s hard to say — but she definitely doesn’t expect orders to slow down anytime soon.
“One of my good friends said she has to hide it from her husband because it’s that good,” Woolf said with a smile. “I guess that’s a sign that I’m doing something right.”
Find Over the Top Toffee on Facebook or at overthetoptoffee.com.