VOL. 24 - NO. 16
APR 21 - 28, 2019
PO BOX 13283
OAKLAND, CA 94661-0283

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“KITCHEN GOURMET” – R & J Toffees Continue a Long Family Tradition

Feb 08, 2019
R& J Toffees continues a nearly 60 year family tradition of making handcrafted almond toffee, renowned internationally for being the “Best Tasting Toffee,” as well as winning the first place “Best in Specialty Food” award and “Top Artisan Toffee” award.

The road to being this good a product didn’t come easy. The recipe started with Ryan and Joel Sakakihara’s grandmother. To be sure, making toffee by hand is actually quite strenuous and over time their grandfather was forced to take the reins. Appropriately, their grandfather, Sam, was a cook for the 442nd infantry in World War II, and under his watchful eye, the toffee recipe was further refined. Throughout the years, Grandpa Sam’s holiday gifts of toffee and annual toffee donations to church and community fundraisers became tradition.

Brothers Ryan, a software engineer, and Joel, a communication studies professor, learned from their grandfather and spent years refining his formula. Together they created R & J Toffees’ original almond toffee, which, to this day, is still made by hand, as they fulfilled their vision of sharing toffee of the highest standard with the public.

Although their recipe represents a family legacy, it is anything but static. The brothers are always looking for anything which helps the toffee evolve. The Sakakiharas’ grandparents never sold their toffees – they made them socially and for church fundraisers – and today the Sakakihara brothers sustain this ethos by giving back as much as possible. Cancer research is high on their list of causes – and for good reason. The kitchen is covered with pictures of grandfather Sam who died of cancer before he could witness the boom of his grandsons’ business. “I think if he could see us now, he would be very proud,” says Joel Sakakihara.

The ingredients for the award-winning R & J Toffees are simple, containing sugar, butter, almonds, and a dark chocolate flavored coating. They are packaged in 4, 8 and 16-ounce containers, and are available at Whole Foods Markets as well as other specialty markets. For more information on R & J Toffees please visit www.rjtoffees.com.


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