Cache Toffee’s Sweet Beginnings: Lori Darr’s Story

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Written by Elle Marketing and Events

November 14, 2022

You know Cache Toffee Collection as they are today — a brand that takes traditional English toffee and transforms it into gourmet delights. But how did Cache Toffee become the thriving business it is today?

Cache Toffee Anniversary Lori Darr

As a special six-year anniversary treat, we sat down with founder Lori Darr to chat about how her booming fine toffee brand came about, how her toffee embodies her belief in family-oriented customer service, and the true inspiration behind Cache Toffee.

It all started in a cozy Park City kitchen.

Before Lori started concocting her magical confections, she performed ultrasounds, devoting her energy to making sure her patients received the best care she could give them. She did this for several years, but, she explained, “things started shifting.” There began to be some signs that maybe, it was time for a change. One of these signs was when a doctor, and a dear friend of hers that she’d been working with for a long time, passed away. Losing him, along with other changes in her work environment, made her realize: the warmth and care were gone. She craved the “family feel” that came with her job and knew she had to get it back.

Lori has always loved creativity, art, and, most of all, cooking. She decided to bring that family feel back by starting a business, one that would embody the warmth and care for others that she missed providing. When she looked into buying a plum pudding business, the seller, a woman who shared her same plum pudding passion, explained that Lori would need to sell another product, because plum pudding is strictly a holiday treat. 

Cache Toffee Anniversary Lori Darr

 

“I started thinking about what I could do, and then it hit me: Mom’s toffee.” 

She’d already been making her mother’s famous English toffee for years. Lori made delectable toffee for friends and other loved ones, right in her own kitchen. They always said they couldn’t get enough. With so much praise for her creations, Lori wanted to transform her toffee to new flavor frontiers.

With all the kids at college and her husband working long hours, Lori busied herself during those longer winter nights by experimenting with her toffee base and elevating it with unique touches of flavor and texture. “I laid huge bowls of chocolate on my counter, and I’d smell it and other things and try out different flavor pairings.” As her experimenting grew, she rented some commercial kitchen space from a friend, where she began developing her delicious flavors even more. She had no idea that these late-night experiments would become such a beloved Utah treat. 

From experiments to experiences.

While she worked in healthcare, Lori always wanted to give her patients the best, and she brought that dedication with her into the toffee business. Her customers are always her priority, and she wants their experience to be wonderful in every way.

Anyone that has sampled Cache Toffee can attest: these traditional treats aren’t like the mass-produced candy bars you can get in stores.

Cache Toffee Anniversary Lori Darr

They exceed grocery store candies because of how much care Lori puts into her creations, and each flavor’s vivid range of tastes.

Lori’s care for her customers starts with what she puts in her toffee. She refuses to use unhealthy preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, artificial dyes, sulfates, or sulfites, because “that’s how I cook at home.” She even spent hours researching companies that source candy cane pieces with no corn syrup or dyes. Lori doesn’t cut corners for her family, and she won’t cut corners for her customers. 

Cache Toffee Anniversary Lori Darr

Cache Toffee isn’t packed full of preservatives, but it is packed full of unique and delicious flavors. To bring that warm, comforting, family feel to life, our toffee varieties are inspired by comforting tastes for all seasons. For instance, Blondie, one of Lori’s first iterations, is packed full of spring and summer tastes like mango, toasted sesame seeds, and rich white chocolate and coconut. “It just came together for me,” Lori smiled. “It really made me feel like summer on the beach.” For Lori’s favorite season, the fall, she created Boo, a combination of creamy and crunchy with some special fall flavors. 

With how much Lori’s friends adored her toffee, it’s no wonder we can call Cache Toffee “award-winning.” Lori participated in a global chocolate competition hosted by the Northwest Chocolate Alliance Festival, and Tango, a spice-inspired toffee with dark chocolate, cashews, tequila, and lime salt, took gold. But it’s not about the awards — it’s about making people feel the warmth and comfort that Lori loves to provide through her cooking. 

Making new friends.

Cache Toffee would not be where it is today without so many wonderful, supportive people in Lori’s life. One of the largest inspirations for the Cache Toffee vision was DeAnn Wallin, the co-founder of Utah’s own Solstice Chocolate. Lori found out about Solstice Chocolate from the same kind friend that rented out her commercial kitchen. “I fell in love with the chocolate, cooking with it,” she said. “I called DeAnn and told her I loved it, and that I was going to use it for my toffee.” 

They’ve kept in touch ever since, and Lori even subleased her Cache Toffee store location from DeAnn for four years. Lori credits Deann’s own brilliance with her chocolate flavors as a great resource of inspiration, and loved being involved with some of Deann’s own chocolatey experiments. The two often work together and help each other with their own individual flavor innovations. To this day, Cache Toffee still uses rich and delicious Solstice Chocolate for our toffee.

Cache Toffee Anniversary Lori Darr
Lori’s mother, Gloria Darr

A tribute to Gloria.

No Cache Toffee origin story would be complete without remembering the entire inspiration behind the brand: the woman whose traditional toffee recipe started it all: Lori’s mother, Gloria Darr. One of Lori’s favorite holiday traditions is helping her mother and grandmother carry big batches of toffee to her family friends’ houses, where they would trade the English toffee for other European treats. “My Mom’s best friend, her name was Ina Ruth, but we called her Tootsie, and she made fudge that was just to die for. So I would go with Mom and visit these people and help carry in and out what they were trading. That is a huge family memory for me.” Gloria passed away in April 2022, but Lori keeps her in her heart always and honors her in every batch of Cache Toffee — which wouldn’t have become what it is today without Gloria.

It was such a treat to sit down with Lori and discuss the legacy of Cache Toffee and how her toffee illustrates her passion for giving the best experience to our customers possible. If you’re dying for a taste after learning more about what makes our toffee so great, click here to see our full toffee selection.