Ferndale, California is a small Victorian village located in Humboldt County, on the North Coast of California. The population was 1,371 in the 2010 census.
The town could be a movie set, with its dozens of well-preserved Victorian store fronts and homes, surrounded by evergreen-covered hills. Close by are extensive preserves of redwood forests (Humboldt County contains more than 40% of all remaining old growth Coast Redwood forests).
And there’s another reason to stop by: Sweetness & Light Handmade Confections.
Sweetness & Light has long been a fixture in the town. When current co-owner (with wife Tami) Matt Toste was in high school, he worked there and began to learn the techniques and skills required to make traditional chocolates. Five years later, he took over operations.
As they’ve been from the beginning, the confections are handmade in small batches using the freshest and best ingredients available: local butter and cream from Humboldt Creamery, real fruit flavors and fine chocolate. Working with copper kettles and marble slabs, the confectioners turn out sweet, old-fashioned goodness.
But not too sweet. The mark of good chocolate candy is that you taste chocolate, not sugar.
We received a gift of chocolate-covered salted caramels and a Moo Bar, a layer of almond-studded caramel topped with a layer of marshmallow, then dipped in chocolate.
We enjoyed them so much, we look forward to ordering a big box of assorted chocolates from the store’s classic repertoire: bonbons, fudge, toffee and truffles. And more caramels, of course.
In addition to wholesome deliciousness, the soft caramel is a bonus for people who don’t like (or can’t have) chewy candies. It melts in your mouth, the softest salted caramels we’ve ever had.
It must be all that moo-velous Humboldt County butter.
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