Todd & Pamela Robinson of Robinson Soft Brittle have spent much of the past three years building a confectionary empire, but it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for this modern-day, motorcycle-loving, “Brittle Bunch.”
Pamela, a single mother of three boys, and Todd, a widower with four daughters, started dating in 2017 and were married a year later. At the time, Todd was running a motorsports store in Sagle, ID, when Pamela turned her attention and baking experience to something new: soft peanut brittle.
While Pamela tested recipes and figured out production, Todd used his tech background and entrepreneurial expertise to get the business off the ground. Within three months, the Robinsons made the decision to close the motorsports store and focus on candy-making full-time.
During the summer of 2019, the Robinsons started selling their new brittle at local markets across North Idaho. Debuting at the Coeur d’Alene Maker’s Market, they sold 50 bags of brittle. A few weeks later at the CDA Street Fair and Art on the Green, Pamela & Todd sold more than 550 bags of Robinson’s Soft Brittle over the three-day event.
Realizing they had a hit on their hands, the Robinsons spent the next few months building up a full-scale production line, acquiring the permits necessary to sell outside of Idaho, and scheduling more markets to share their sweets with the world.
Then, when Covid made its appearance and shutdowns were mandated, market organizers started canceling their events out of caution, leaving the Robinsons with an empty calendar and coffers full of candy.
Looking for new opportunities, the couple turned to local boutiques, gift shops and coffee shops as outlets for their brittle. Pamela returned to the test kitchen to develop new products—going as far as cutting candy out of her diet for a few months to cleanse her palate, allowing her to perfect the flaky brittle, rich bark and snappy toffee that customers have come to enjoy in such a short time.
Meanwhile, Todd focused his efforts on getting Pamela’s creations out to the masses. He describes himself as the “spreadsheet guy” of their growing candy operation, but Todd loves watching Pamala shine and using his tech skills to complement what is coming out of the kitchen. The result of his recent efforts is brittlegift.com, a new website designed to streamline individual and corporate gifting, allowing Pamela’s confections to be enjoyed on a national scale.
And now with more than 10 sweet products, customers can mix and match unique espresso- and liqueur-inspired flavors like Caramel Macchiato Bark and Cinnamon Whiskey Toffee with the Robinsons’ signature soft peanut brittle to create their own custom gift box.
And if this recent holiday season is any indication, their confections are sure to be a gifting staple for years to come—the Robinsons received so many re-orders from around the country that they’re on a first-name basis with some customers they have only interacted with online!
Despite only being in business for a few years, Todd & Pamela say they are so grateful for their loyal customer base and that local buy-in from the community is essential to fulfilling their goals and dreams.