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Meet Kate and Jason McCrea of McCrea’s Candies in Hyde Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kate and Jason McCrea.

Kate and Jason, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Turning job loss into opportunity was not how we saw our venture into candy-making at the time but in retrospect that’s exactly what my husband, Jason McCrea, and I did when the recession hit us in 2009. We had long talked about opening a food-related business but those conversations remained idle Sunday morning dreaming until push came to shove and we jumped in with everything we had! Jason spent a solid year creating a business plan and perfecting three of our signature flavors, Black Lava Sea Salt, Ginger Fusion, and Dark Roasted Mocha, before we contracted space at Commonwealth Kitchen (formerly Crop Circle Kitchen) and hit the Farmer’s Market Circuit. From the moment, we sampled out our first caramels we’ve experienced rapid growth and enjoyed the rollercoaster ride of small business ownership. Within a year we relocated to a commercial kitchen close to our home in Hyde Park and are currently growing out of that space as well! It’s impossible to know when considering the possibility of starting a business where that decision will lead. McCrea’s has both challenged and rewarded us in ways we could never have foreseen. Every day is a good day to get up and get to work with our fantastic team to grow our business into the Boston company we envision.

Has it been a smooth road?
Owning a small business is not a smooth road. Learning the ins and outs of the food-business while navigating rapid growth was and continues to be both exciting and terrifying. For example, we realized about three years into business that we were out-growing our brand and that our packaging needed updating. As a product transitions from being sold by the founders at markets to being sold at retail locations it’s important that the packing tells the story of the company, through both design and words. We had hit that point. It was exciting to work through the values of our brand and create a design that reflected our emphasis on ingredients, our care for the environment, and our understanding that customers want to give McCrea’s as a gift. It’s really hard to change when your company is growing rapidly. The questions raged in the middle of the night about whether it’s a good idea to alter a model that seemed to be working. In those moments of self-doubt, we reminded ourselves to trust the work we had done to determine what our company needed to continue to grow. It’s easy to doubt and shrink in fear when it so much is at stake but by staying the course and pushing through the fright we established our new brand and packaging and business continues to grow.

We’ve had many challenges and I know they will continue but with each one we learn better how to manage our way through to the other side. As the business grows, we say that we need to be thankful for today’s challenges because next year the challenge will be bigger and the business will be bigger. Problems grow right along with the business.

Enjoying solving those problems is key to enjoying running the business.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
McCrea’s is a Boston company specializing in caramel. We use only real-food ingredients and use salts, spirits and fresh herbs to create both traditional and unexpected flavors. We are a Boston company with more than half of our team living in Boston. McCrea’s has strong representation in New England and is expanding across the country.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
The opportunity to start in a shared kitchen makes Boston a great place to start a food business. Farmer’s Markets are plentiful making it easy to start sales small and work on proof of concept. The challenge in Boston is space once a food business begins to grow and needs to have its own kitchen. Anything the city can do to make space available to small businesses at a reasonable rate would make it easier for new entrepreneurs to get a start and then stay in Boston.

Pricing:

  • 5.5 oz sleeve – 17 to 20 pieces $14.95
  • 2.4 oz sleeve – approx. 9 pieces $9.95
  • 1.4 oz pillow box – approx. 5 pieces $3.95
  • Party Box – approx. 80 pieces $54.95
  • Gift Box – 3 x 5.5 oz sleeves $54.95
  • Gift Card – choose $25, $50, $75 or $100

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Courtesy McCrea’s Candies

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