Making Their Mark: Anchor Toffee

Making Their Mark: Anchor Toffee (WJAR)

It's late Friday morning and after whipping up several dozen batches of toffee, candy maker Peter Kelly has hit his stride.

“Like the pedal stroke on a bicycle, nice and even, no one part more forceful than the other,” said Kelly, rotating a large wooden spoon inside a giant cooper kettle.

Inside the kettle: just a few simple ingredients.

“Water, butter, sugar, salt, chocolate, almonds,” said Kelly.

But transforming those ingredients takes some skill.

“See how it's much fluffier and thicker now?” said Kelly. “So, it's ready for the nuts.”

Kelly has, admittedly, had plenty of practice.

The Johnson & Wales culinary instructor had been making toffee for years when he and his wife, Katie, decided to start their own business.

“My wife said, ‘Well, you do that candy thing pretty well.’ I've been making candy for over 20 years -- and we decided to give it a shot,” said Kelly.

So, the Kelly’s joined Hope & Main, a non-profit culinary incubator in Warren that gives local entrepreneurs access to industrial kitchens.

In 2014, Anchor Toffee was born.

“It's given us the facility to be able to be in business,” said Kelly.

And grow.

Last summer, Anchor Toffee opened its first storefront on Bowen's Wharf in Newport.

“It was crazy,” said Kelly. “There were a couple of times where I would leave the shop, come here, make an emergency batch of toffee, get it all packed up and drive it back to the shop.”

With another busy tourist season on the horizon, this summer, Anchor Toffee is prepared to feed the masses.

Anchor Toffee hopes to open a few more coastal shops in the near future.

To purchase their candy, or find a store selling Anchor Toffee, click here.

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