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Chew on this! Salty Road draws raves for its artisinal taffy

for The Brooklyn Paper

Her candy company may be called Salty Road, but Marisa Wu’s path to success is looking plenty sweet.

Riding high on Brooklyn’s love for all things small-batch, DIY, and retro, the self-taught confectioner is currently drawing raves for her hand-pulled, artisanal saltwater taffy — with a wholesale client list that includes Four and Twenty Blackbirds in Gowanus and the Bedford Cheese Shop in Williamsburg.

“They’ve all told me the product usually sells out,” said Wu. “People have been really into it — there isn’t exactly a lot of competition out there for homemade salt water taffy.”

While Wu’s chewy boardwalk throwbacks play heavily on nostalgia — each six-pack comes cutely packaged in a brightly striped bag, reminiscent of a 1920s swimming costume — these are definitely treats for the contemporary candy connoisseur.

Wu hand-pulls every piece of taffy she sells, flavoring vanilla, coconut, bergamot (orange) and peppermint candies with natural botanicals, extracts and purees.

“Honestly, I was never really into salt water taffy before, because it seemed very artificial, generic and touristy,” admitted Wu. “But the stuff I’ve been making is really awesome, with an ice creamy sort of taste to it. Not at all what I remember salt water taffy being like.”

Wu plans to start selling her wares at Smorgasburg, and is hard at work developing new flavors, like sour cherry and Vietnamese coffee — but is not looking to put much else on her plate right now.

“Salty Road has just one company member, and that’s me,” says Wu. “My main priority is concentrating on getting the flavors I want and keeping the product tight.”

Find Salty Road at Four and Twenty Blackbirds [439 Third Ave. at Eighth Street in Gowanus, (718) 499 2917] and the Bedford Cheese Shop [229 Bedford Ave. at N. Sixth Street in Williamsburg, (718) 599-7588]. For info, visit www.thesaltyroad.com.

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diehipster from non-gentrified Brookly says:
Oh cmon with this artisanal BS! It's taffy! Hipster chocolate is just chocolate. Hipster tacos are just tacos. Hipster coffee is just coffee. Can't they do anything original?? Must everything they do have to be an artisanal pioneering project to seek attention? Get the F out of Brooklyn already!
July 10, 2011, 9:20 am
Golda & Jeff from Queens says:
We will take twelve pallets.
July 12, 2011, 9:54 am
TheCheeseStreet says:
If I hear the word "artisanal" one more time, I'm going to scream. It's such a terrible marketing buzzword. Sweetie, please don't act like you invented some amazing new recipe for salt-water taffy. It's been around for over 100 years.
July 12, 2011, 10:17 am
Sam from LES says:
But guys, SHE IS PULLING IT IN BROOKLYN!!!!!!!!!!! No one has ever made taffy in Brooklyn before.
July 12, 2011, 3:27 pm
peter weller from queens says:
We will take twelve pallets.

and by that you mean all twelve pallets, the entire 'artisinal' supply to be made.
July 12, 2011, 5:58 pm

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