Four years ago Elizabeth Feinberg started Vermont Amber Organic Toffee for the reason so many small businesses get started: People loved receiving her toffee as gifts. As there’s nothing like appreciative sweet-eaters to motivate a former pastry chef, Feinberg began turning out larger and larger batches of her crisp-chewy, real buttery toffee. There’s no chocolate coating or sprinkling of nuts, just straight-up, stick-to-your-teeth kind of old-fashioned toffee ($11-$14 for 5 ounces). The company makes eight regular flavors and a few seasonal varieties, such as pumpkin pie toffee. Best sellers are Coconut, Cacao Nib, Salted Sesame, and Fennel Seed; the latter two have won Good Food awards. Feinberg has come a long way from melting a few sticks of butter in a saucepan: She now goes through 50 pounds of butter a week to yield what will be about 15,000 pounds of toffee this year. Available at Volante Farms, 292 Forest St., Needham, 781-444-2351; and Formaggio Kitchen, 244 Huron Ave., Cambridge, 617-354-4750; www.vermontamber.com.
Lisa Zwirn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org