Famous for its unorthodox handcrafted candies, Liddabit Sweets opened its first brick- and-mortar location in Chelsea Market on Sept. 1. Formerly confined to the online market and booths at pop-up markets like Brooklyn Flea in years past, Liddabit now sells fantastic treats from its own storefront.
When Liz Gutman and her business partner Jen King decided to top off leftover caramel with salt and sell it at their booth at the Brooklyn Flea, it sold out immediately.
However, Liddabit Sweets is much more than your average sea salt caramel.
“Sea salt caramel has [already] been done,” Gutman said. “People do it pretty well, and it’s boring.”
While Liddabit Sweets’ sea salt caramels ($6 per dozen) are one of its bestsellers, they might look boring considering other flavor options such as beer and pretzel caramel ($8 per half-dozen) and banana bread caramels ($8.50 per half-dozen).
For their beer and pretzel caramels, Liddabit incorporates a mixture of Brooklyn Brewery’s Brown Ale and East India Pale Ale with pretzels from Martin’s Pretzels to create an unforgettably delicious concoction.
For “more grown-up flavor combinations,” Gutman suggested the Dorie candy bar ($8), which is wrapped in pink and floral packaging that reads “sweet and sophistcated, yet totally apporachable: dark cocoa cookie, soft salted caramel ganache and sautéed dried apricots with a touch of black pepper.”
While it is easy to be entirely enraptured with the deliciously unusual flavors, one still cannot help but notice the quality of the candy bars. Liddabit’s secret is the tremendous amount of skill and care put into making their homemade treats.
“When we first had the idea of making handmade candy, we wondered why no one had ever really done it before,” Gutman said. “And then we realized it was because it’s not easy to do.”
Gutman noted that “sugar is not a flavor.” Each recipe is designed to be sweetened naturally rather than drowned in sugar. Take a bite of the banana ganache in the King, a twist on the classic banana, peanut butter and bacon combo named for Elvis Presley ($8), and you will immediately understand exactly what Gutman means.
NYU sophomore Nicole Del Mauro is already a fan of the King.
“I ended up choosing [the King] because I was familiar with the ingredients,” Del Mauro said. “But once I tried it, I realized [that] while the flavors were familiar, it was still very different from anything I had ever had.”
You can stop by Liddabit Sweets’ hip little counter any day of the week to sample the candy of the day and maybe chat with Gutman in her uniform — a bow tie and a pinstriped cap. No matter what you choose, it is guaranteed to be unlike any other candy you have tried before.
Liddabit Sweets is located on 425 W. 15th St.
Alexandra Pastron is a contributing writer. Email her at [email protected]