Meet Kate Coffey, Queen Of The Twist

Chocolate Twist creates small batch, hand crafted confections for you to love, cherish, and eat with abandon.

What do you love about your business and industry?

We make candy. We sell candy. We help provide a few moments of joy in our customer's day. What more could we ask for?

Tell us what inspires you.

People: teenagers. They are smarter and wiser than we are. They have learned early to harness their rage for positive change. Watch out. Here they come.

Places: small stores and restaurants. Small business owners hustling for their livelihood is the backbone of American commerce. I admire their determination and moxie. I try to emulate the energy every day.

Things: pencils. A good pencil with a smooth glide will make tedious list making enjoyable. And a good pencil with a fine, effective erasure makes revisions downright delightful.

Personal: my kids - two teenagers. They've found their voice (one with a pen, the other on a stage) and have learned to use their voices for personal growth. They are true to themselves first. And then everything and everyone else falls into place for them. They inspire me to up my game, embrace change, and be happy in my own skin. Proud mom before anything.

What advice do you have for other creatives and entrepreneurs?

Get 8 hours of sleep every night. There is no glory, heroics, or fame in depriving yourself of sleep. No medals were earned, no good business decisions were made, no sound choices have ever come from a lack of sleep. Sleep. You'll get it done more efficiently and with more earnestness if you do it in a well rested body. You're not a super hero even if you think you are.

What is something surprising about you?

I hate the following words/phrases: "passion, passion-project, gourmet, dreams, follow your dreams and money will follow, do what you love, mom-blogger, influencer". Each of these words are empty and tossed about like so much flotsam. These words set up entrepreneurs for failure and self doubt. Also, each concept is for the privileged few who have the means and support to "follow their passion." Let's set goals and do work that is right for us. Might not be a passion but you're damn good at it. Save passion for your hobbies, your family, and the bedroom. I could do a TED Talk about these words. I'm ready. Additionally, I am a pro - vaccine and women's reproductive heath geek. Public health is my mantle.

What is the most common question you get about you and your business?

"Do you make this at home? How do you stay in shape by being around candy all day? How do you do it all?"

Answers: 1. No, this isn't a hobby. 2. I work out 7 days a week. Also, I don't eat candy anymore. But I will not pass up a cookie. 3. I don't do it all - ask my children the last time they've seen me cook.

Tell us about your process for making and creating.

We make candy. We sell candy. We watch Twistheads eat our candy and find their moment of bliss for that day. Then we start all over and find much joy in our routine.

Name three local makers and brands that you are inspired by and why.

Elizabeth Madden of Rare Bird Preserves: Elizabeth has created one of the finest small batch brands in America. Her flavor profiles are unmatched, her ascetic is simple and divine, and she is one of the smartest business owners I have the privilege of knowing.

Melissa Yen of Jo Snow Syrups: Melissa is a creative genius. Her products is inspired by her world travels and quirky imagination. And Melissa is one of the most generous and kindest women in the industry.

Amy Hansen of Amy's Candy Bar: Amy has more talent in her whole body than most of us will enjoy in a lifetime. Her store is gorgeous, her recipes are bold and creative, and she has a calm and reasonable disposition that keeps her crew calm and collected.

What is the best advice you've ever been given and how has it shaped your business?

Listen. Stop talking and listen. Listen to people who are in your industry. Listen to people out of your industry. Listen to the success stories and the failures. Listen carefully because you will learn valuable lessons that will apply to your life and business. Then, surround yourself with an inner circle of people who are smarter than you - who only have your best interests at heart and listen to them. You have to make the final decision but let your inner circle inform you. I call my inner circle my consiglieri. They never let me down. The celebrate my wins, they smooth over the loses, they have my back like all good consiglieri do. Shut up and listen.

Why don't you use organic products?

The simple answer is that we make candy that is meant to be an occasional indulgence. Like all good indulgences, we encourage Twistheads to enjoy in moderation. And, because a treat is just that - a tiny celebration for your mouth and soul - organic ingredients are not necessary. Additionally, sourcing organic ingredients would create a product that is significantly more expensive than traditional ingredients. Our $8 chocolate bar becomes $15 quickly when we source organically.

Discover more about Chocolate Twist at chocolate-twist.com

kendra chaplin