Who would have ever thought that a daycare provider from the city of Baltimore would become the Brittle Queen and founder of Natasha’s Just Brittle? In the summer of 2009, I wanted to teach my daycare children a simple lesson in business fundamentals. Since cooking was a part of our daycare curriculum we collectively decided to start a sweet shop. The children made and sold homemade cakes, cookies, brownies and smoothies, but one of the children was very adamant about adding candy to our sweet menu. I searched my cook books only to find peanut brittle recipes. I liked the idea of brittle especially when I found out that among the many uses of peanuts and discoveries by George Washington Carver, he also created an award winning peanut brittle.
My very first brittle was made with cashews because I cared for a lot of children with peanut allergies. In the summer of 2009, I transitioned my daycare center into an eco-friendly facility by changing our indoor environment, outdoor environment and the way we eat. We grew a garden so that we could fuel our bodies with more fruits and vegetables; we cooked our food by steaming and broiling it. So to stay with the new practices that we were embarking on, I created an all -natural brittle without corn syrup, preservatives and artificial coloring or flavoring. Natasha’s Just Brittle incorporates a blend of brown and white sugar, sea salt, butter, agave, spices and extracts. Our customers who were the daycare parents and their co-workers loved the brittle. In fact they kept asking for it 6 months later.
In December 2009, Natasha’s Just Brittle online store was born.
My mission is to build a legacy while creating entrepreneurial opportunities for single mothers and young people, and I am well on my way to doing that. Life has had its’ ups and downs over the past 8 years since the creation of Natasha’s Just Brittle. In 2016, I closed the daycare center; I lost my home of 19 years and put aside some things that were important to me like my Tae Kwon Do. On a positive note since starting this journey, Natasha’s Just Brittle has been featured on QVC, Queen Boss featured in Baltimore Style magazine and is now in several gourmet stores including Whole Foods. In the month of April our processing plant will also serve as a commercial kitchen for other artisans to start their culinary businesses. In fact, B’More Made with Pride will be the second licensed shared kitchen in Baltimore City. In the month of April, students from MICA and Loyola will be able to enjoy my brittle product and I am looking to enter the Direct Sales market with Natasha’s Just Brittle.
For anyone who plans to explore an entrepreneur’s life-style, I want to let you know that the main parts of the recipe that you must have are a great product or service, passion, a mission, and the courage and persistence to see it through. Life is like a roller coaster with it ups and downs, so get yourself ready to enjoy the ride.