It all began with a cooking date.
It was the monthly ritual that kept my girls and me sane during the height of the pandemic- one Thursday a month dedicated to cooking, cocktailing, connecting, and seeking some sense of normalcy in a very bizarre world. We’d each come with an aspirational dish we wanted to try or perfect…on this Thursday, mine was toffee.
After an ambitious dinner of lobster deviled eggs, Dover sole and fondant potatoes, LOTS of libations, music and laughter, it was dessert time- Taylor’s croquembouche and my Dark Chocolate Salted Almond Toffee with a cup of coffee. Damn was it good! So good, I couldn’t stop making it, experimenting each time with a new twist. In between job searches, it became my Covid hobby…some made sourdough, I made toffee.
With a career that demanded 50-90% travel any given month, I used to seek See’s Candy outposts at the airport just to buy Toffeettes. They were an extra special treat growing up in California, so on the road, my toffee moments became a respite from an often grueling schedule.
I became a corporate casualty of Covid when I was laid off from what I thought was my dream job- director-level beauty industry professional, global responsibilities, lots of travel, decent influence and good money. What I didn’t realize was most of these trappings were not tied to my passion but instead to how I saw my value. My connection to corporate back then was fraudulent. It’s no wonder I felt out of place. ”If oxymoron was a person” you would have seen a picture of me- a regimented free-spirit, creative scientist, cautious adventurer, practical visionary. Despite this feeling, I clung to the hope of reclaiming my "status"…but there was a Greater plan.
For nearly two years, I toiled- first trying to land a similar role, then simply any role. But nothing. Finally, a promising opportunity came. After 5 ½ months, we nearly closed the deal. Instead, I was ghosted. It took 3 more weeks for me to confirm the answer was “No.” It brought me to my knees.
Amid my corporate pursuit, a consistent agitation murmured - “what about the toffee?” But when my sister said to me, “you’re not handed a gift like this for you not to do something with it,” I realized that was just the “No” I needed. It was confirmation that my path was being reinvented.
One week later, I incorporated.