By Vendor > Caramel Creations
If Lori Carson's Caramel Creations business turns out to be as successful as she dreams, with a franchise in every mall, she'll have a great story about how risk — and, well, stick-to-itiveness — worked out for the single mom and former student.
"This is truly how it happened," she said.
Carson, originally from Rapid City, was living in Newell two years ago when a friend asked if she would like to go in together on a booth at the town's annual elementary school Christmas fair. A TV program Carson watched, where a woman was selling caramel apples, provided the inspiration.
"They were very plain," Carson said. "I just had this notion that I could do better."
But, she admits, "I had no clue what to do."
The friends paid the $10 for the booth, experimented with some caramel recipes, chose four kid-friendly topping combinations and were soon in business.
"I had this notion that chocolate crunchy cereal might be a good combination, and it was a huge hit," she said.
She sold them for $2, not wanting to profit off of kids at Christmas. But the apples were so popular, Carson and her daughters started to look for other places to sell them. At a craft show in Belle Fourche, they charged $3 an apple, but, too, cautiously discounted the price to six for $15.
"We were way underselling what we were doing, but we were thrilled," Carson said. "By the end of the day, we had a profit."
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