Darcey Powell receives her framed award from Jennifer Baletka and Ethan Migliori of the Price Small Business Development Center.
The 2012 Emery County Fair in Castle Dale marked the 10th anniversary since Darcey Powell discovered an opportunity to establish an innovative homemade caramel confections business.
"I decided to rent a booth at the fair to sell some caramel apples, something that I had been doing as a hobby," said Powell. "The apples were so well received... I earned $500 from the fair and immediately bought a new appliance for the kitchen with the money I had earned. I thought I could work towards embellishing the apples with toppings...that this was something that I could really be good at."
Subsequent to her discovery, Powell established The Forbidden Fruit, a caramel confections manufacturer and distributor based in Cleveland.
Since the business was established in 2004, Forbidden Fruit has flourished from a small home-based business into a well established caramel apple and candy confections vendor with a full commercial kitchen and boutique. The innovative confections created by Powell include a number of caramel apples such as "Strawberry Splendor," "Glazed Pecan" or "Chocolate Toffee" which can be found online, in the boutique or through a vendor. The Forbidden Fruit also specializes in gourmet chocolate candies and specialty items for holidays, weddings, and special occasions such as child births and anniversaries.
During the first few years of operating Forbidden Fruit, Powell delicately balanced the business with her other career as an elementary school teacher. By 2007, Forbidden Fruit had become so much of a success that Powell felt the business needed her full-time attention. After receiving some assistance from the Business Expansion and Retention (Bear) program, Powell was referred to the Price Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for additional direction to further expand the business. SBDC Director, Ethan Migliori helped Powell explore different avenues for growth including acquisition of a commercial kitchen, increasing distribution through other business vendors and helped Powell identify funding opportunities. "The SBDC helped me think that I could do something big with my business," said Powell. "They taught me that it could become (much) more than a hobby.
"I had a good idea and knew I needed to trust my instinct to push it forward. I refused to be afraid of the hard work that running my own business would entail" said Powell.
In 2010, Powell moved Forbidden Fruit out of her home and into a commercial kitchen-a major milestone that created an opportunity to sell products to other businesses and food suppliers. Presently, Forbidden Fruit caramel apples and candy confections can be found at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Associated Foods, and through the Western Nut Company. Forbidden Fruit has also demonstrated success in the last two years as a result of creating new and innovative products such as their specialty Halloween witch apple or the bride and groom apple set-both of which can be purchased on the website and shipped anywhere in the U.S.
In recognition for Powell's achievements as an entrepreneur, the Price Small Business Development Center has selected Forbidden Fruit to receive a Small Business Award, one of 11 businesses selected throughout the state of Utah. For more information about Forbidden Fruit visit www.caramelapplesandmore.com.
"During my first meeting with the SBDC consultant, I was told that if I decided to turn my hobby into a business, that all the tools to do so were available. The support and counsel I received from the SBDC gave me the courage to take my business to the next level," said Powell.