Sweetening Up the Dairy State: Wisconsin Dairy News - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Sweetening Up the Dairy State: Wisconsin Dairy News

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MADISON, Wisconsin (WXOW) - In this segment of Wisconsin Dairy News, see how one woman's candy making is sweetening up the Dairy State.

Leanne Cordisco got into crafting buttery caramels and toffee by accident.

After a serendipitous meeting with Sam Jacobson, the man behind the entire chain of PDQ stores, Leanne pitched her idea for a wine accessory business. But not being a wine drinker, Sam declined.

Leanne Cordisco, the Chef and Owner of Christine's Toffee says, "I got a no, and I put out my hand to say goodbye and thank him for his time and he said, 'Well, wait Leanne, I'm not interested in that idea, but I'm interested in you.'"

Turns out that Sam had been searching for someone to start a candy company with, and that's when Leanne's fate changed!

Leanne: "That's the genesis of Christine's Gourmet Toffees. We named it Christine's because Sam's mom's name was Christine and we wanted to honor her memory because she used to make him candy when he was a little boy."

Using premium ingredients like Wisconsin butter and cream, French sea salt, and Belgian chocolate, Leanne and her business partner, Kimberly Vrubley craft buttery toffee and caramels. This past October they opened the Chocolaterian Café, a chocolate lounge where they make delicious pastries that also incorporate Wisconsin dairy products.

Kimberly Vrubley, Co-owner of Chocolaterian says, "The goal for our customers is an affordable luxury. They can come in and they can experience a bit of a break from whatever stress they might be having that day. "

The philosophy at Chocolaterian is to use high quality ingredients and let them enhance the flavor of the end products.

Leanne: "Belgian chocolate is known world-wide for its qualities, French sea salt is known world-wide for its qualities, Wisconsin butter is known world-wide for its qualities, we just need to toot that horn a little bit more, so that's what we're doing!"

And that's Wisconsin Dairy News.

Christine's gourmet toffee was also featured in the swag bag at the 2011 Prime Time Emmys in Hollywood.

For a list of stores where you can get your hands on some of Christine's Toffee, log on to www.christinestoffee.com.

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