Table Talk

Amelia Toffee: It’s not your grandma’s toffee


Anita Comisky had one more business goal to achieve in 2015 – bring to market her Grandmother Anita Lester’s old-fashioned toffee. It was in her family’s kitchen — cooking next to her mother and grandmother — that she felt most comfortable and confident. Hers was a family that loved to entertain and travel, living in Boston, Los Angeles, Denver, Peoria, New Jersey and Holland. The culinary adventures she enjoyed during her childhood and early career unquestionably helped Anita develop an adventurous palate. Was it possible for her to combine 25 years of business savvy with a passion for toffee and create the only U.S. produced toffees made with bourbon, beer, coffee and green tea? You bet!

Northeast Florida folks usually begin new friendships by asking ‘Where are you from and what brought you here’? Anita and Jim Comisky landed on Amelia Island and life’s destiny stepped in six month ago when Amelia Toffee was born.

Not wanting to be another 50-something-year-old producing toffee from a family recipe, Anita researched current confection and culinary trends to develop her innovative and delicious line of toffees that would take her recipe to the next level. The burgeoning boom of craft breweries, distilleries, gourmet coffee and tea shops all caught her interest and she began experimenting by using those ingredients in Amelia Toffee. The result…toffees that are ‘Not your grandma’s Toffee”; instead they are finding their way to retail shelves with meteoric speed.

There’s usually a saga or two about how products are developed and Anita’s trek from neophyte to professional toffee maker is paved with many humorous accounts. Her brush with Seth Greenberg, regarded as one of the premiere impresarios of today’s hospitality industry who began his illustrious career as a promoter of fashionable private parties in nightclubs, is worthy of telling. He heard about Anita’s first attempt at creating a scrumptious toffee and contacted her to brew up her first large batch for his authentic New York Brownie Crunch. To Anita, it seemed like a miracle. But after her weeklong kitchen caper of making 700 pounds of toffee (AND Kosher), she realized she was learning from the ‘ground up’!

Today, her first commercial production of the buttery smooth Amelia Toffee’s diverse flavors boasts the unique and distinctive tastes of:

a. Beer — ZETA Brewing Co’s. ‘Power to the Porter – brewed in Jacksonville Beach

b. Rum – hand-crafted at The Distillery in St. Augustine

c. Bourbon – Maker’s Mark

d. Coffee – Amelia Bay’s coffee extract formulated just for Amelia Toffee

e. Green Tea – Fresh Green Tea Extract

“I’ve done a lot of research about taste and what is innovative and have spent hours walking fancy food shows, farmers markets, liquor stores and specialty food stores. I realized I had to do something unique — and introduce my toffees by infusing with alcoholic beverages and flavors. The current generation is eager to try new things; they enjoy tasting and then purchasing,” Anita vows.

Amelia Toffee is very eye-pleasing at first — then appeals to all of the senses when eating. Begin with the irresistible aroma of combined ingredients (dark chocolate comes from Chocoley — a Georgia family-owned company) and (almonds are roasted and dusted with sea salt from Jerry’s Nuts in Denver), next the snappy crunchy sound and finally the unforgettable taste! Maintaining the lightness of flavor with her rich breakable toffee, fans open each bag filled with ‘love’ and just don’t stop at one taste.

Toffee is mysterious and frankly – everybody smiles when you mention dark chocolate and bourbon!