Freeze dryer opens up sweet new business opportunity for Lone Butte resident


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Apr 20, 2023

Freeze dryer opens up sweet new business opportunity for Lone Butte resident

When Kayla Joseph got her Harvest Right Freeze Dryer a few months ago she was

When Kayla Joseph got her Harvest Right Freeze Dryer a few months ago she was just looking to preserve her food.

The new Lone Butte resident said that as she was learning how to use it back in December she came across TikToks about freeze-dried candy. On a whim, she gave it a try, and within four months had launched her own business, Head in the Clouds Treats.

"When I came across the candy pages I said ‘This looks good, it's going to catch people's eyes’," Joseph, 26, said. "I spent the whole month of December trying out the machine, figuring out how things work because I didn't want to rush into the process. I just wanted to go with the flow and bring joy to people at the right time."

Joseph, who has spent the last several years working in the Vancouver service industry, said it's amazing to now be running her own business.

"I never thought I would be at this point in my life running a business, doing it on my own. It kind of just came from out of nowhere."

Freeze-dried candy is created using a freeze dryer and has fast become popular across Canada in recent months. Joseph said that the freeze-drying process can take several hours, depending on the candy, as her machine bakes and then cools the candy over and over.

The humid air that results from this process is sucked out using a vacuum pump which causes the candy to expand. The end result is a candy that is puffy and light, akin to popcorn in appearance and texture. Freeze-dried food, if properly stored, can last for up to 25 years, Joseph added.

"Gummies have to go for over 12 hours, while hard candy like Jolly Ranchers or Skittles can go for four to six hours. So it's all about figuring out your times and what works together and what doesn't work together."

Joseph said that a big part of why freeze-dried candy appealed to her is the fact it doesn't damage your mouth like regular candy can. She said the light flaky texture of freeze-dried candy is appealing, and due to the lack of water the sugar becomes concentrated, creating a more intense flavour.

"You start with a regular gummy and have that chewy texture, but when you freeze dry it that flavour intensifies five times over and you’re also getting a different texture," Joseph said. "It melts in your mouth."

Right now Joseph can produce freeze-dried versions of 25 name-brand candies. However, she intends to learn how to make her own candy such as saltwater taffy and marshmallow fluff cones as she grows bigger.

At her debut at the Lone Butte Hall Spring Craft Fair in early April, Joseph said the community was incredibly supportive. Children steadily made their way to her booth to try out the candy for themselves and brought their parents along with them.

"I got into candy for the joy of it. Seeing it expand from being so small into something bigger with such intense flavours just puts a smile on people's faces when they try it," Joseph said. "I can bring joy to people in other ways. Everyone can experience something different [regardless of their age]. It's a new way to enjoy the food you love, in a different way."

After attending the Cariboo Women's Fair in May, Joseph plans to start selling her candy at markets across the South Cariboo. If interest remains high she would like to open up her own shop, either at her home in Lone Butte or in town if she can find a space to rent.

Joseph said anyone looking to get in touch with her can find her under Head in the Clouds Freeze Dried Treats & more on Facebook or Instagram. You can also email her at [email protected] or call 604-356-7834.

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