Robins Toffee by the Sea's retail shop is located in West Yarmouth, MA. Robin Costa's Toffee treats are "deliciously addictive", and were established in 2014. Robin enjoys the coastal community of Cape Cod, and it's people. She is thriving in her field every day and is a true definition of a soul following their dreams. Toffee is a perfect treat to enjoy on good old Cape Cod, especially when it is shared with friends and family members while enjoy a crisp ocean breeze. We asked Robin what it takes to thrive in the sweet and savory industry of all that is toffee, here's what she had to tell us.
How did you originally get involved in this field, and what really motivated you to want to become a business owner?
“I made toffee for many years as a holiday tradition for family and friends and was always told how “deliciously addictive” it was! My recipe originated from family and was always made in small batches and this continues today. As my husband and I started to think about moving to the cape full time, I began to think about what I wanted to do to keep myself busy as I didn’t want to work for another company. That is what prompted me to think about starting my own business but doing something fun and that I enjoy. In 2014 I began to test the product at local venues to see how it was received. Immediately the response was overwhelming, and I was asked what else can I do? That’s how the flavors evolved, and I now offer sea salt, cranberry, peanut butter, coconut, chili pepper, and peppermint (holiday only). I have also partnered with Cape Cod Beer and make their Ale House Toffee as well as Cape Cod Coffee making their Vienna Roasted Coffee Toffee and Cranberry Coffee Toffee. I think the flavors set me apart as well as making it on the thin side. I am always trying something new to offer. My latest product is a Sea Salt Toffee Trail Mix. I also do custom favors for various events such as weddings, showers, birthdays, and other special occasions.”
What sets you apart from other toffee companies?
“My commercial kitchen had nice frontage but at first I only used the space to manufacture product for my wholesale accounts. Then I started getting inquiries from people who wanted to come in to buy toffee. In 2017 I decided to utilize the space and set up a full retail gift shop, not only offering my homemade toffee but also local food products and unique gifts from local artisans and beyond. A tasting of my toffee is always available to my customers and they love that!”
When will you reopen?
“My wholesale business is year round, but I close my retail shop January through March. However, I am often at the shop working and make myself available to meet customers who would like to come in and shop. I also participate in local fairs and events whenever possible.”
What is one piece of advice that you would give individuals who want to get started as an entrepreneur in the future?
“My best advice to an individual thinking about starting a business is to do your homework first and come up with a business plan. It’s a learning experience overall but start small and offer something unique whether it’s a product or service that will set you apart. Advertise smartly (as this can get very costly) and use social media to keep the public engaged. Most importantly listen to the needs of your customers, don’t fear rejection, and have fun!”
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Editorial Contributor and Marketing Specialist
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