Two local entrepreneurs have built their businesses through some unique and interesting foods: caramel apples and cranberry sauce.
Morgan Francis, 28, of Tyler, founded her caramel apple business — the Apple Gal Candy Company — in October, and Candice Cain, 40, of Bullard, began her homemade cranberry sauce business — Cain Cannery — in September.
Francis began with a goal of selling 100 apples in a month, but she ended up selling over 500. She takes orders via social media on her Facebook and Instagram pages.
Cain started selling the jars at the Tyler Rose City Farmer’s Market every Saturday through last weekend.
Three years ago, Francis started making caramel apples when she was a fourth grade teacher in College Station. After stopping for some time, she returned to the apple making, but this time it became a business featuring a variety of unique flavors.
“I try to make the caramel apple approachable for everyone to make the caramel apple more appealing to them,” Francis said. “Caramel apples are an outlet for me to express my creativity.”
Francis is also a stay-at-home mom of a 9-month-old son while running her at-home business.
“I love staying home with him, but there is that extra part of me that wants to create,” she said.
She dips and creates the apples on Thursdays and delivers on Fridays. Her current delivery area consists of towns including Tyler, Lindale, Bullard, Van and Whitehouse.
She’s reached 120 followers on Instagram and over 200 people on Facebook within roughly a month and a half.
“It’s really branched out to a lot of people I don’t know,” she said. “Each and every day, I’m seeing new people on there.”
Some flavors Francis has created include apple strudel, salted caramel, cookies and cream and Reese’s covered pretzel. Through customer requests, she’s also made Kit Kat, Heath and Butterfinger flavors.
“It’s really sweet and nice to feel like I’ve found my niche,” Francis said.
Before starting her business, she always wanted to run a cupcake shop, but as the years went by, she noticed the market became oversaturated.
“I thought no one’s doing caramel apples. I’m going to change the game,” Francis said.
For Thanksgiving, she’s also making caramel apples decorated as turkeys. Afterward, she will have Christmas-themed apples, such as snowman, reindeer and peppermint white chocolate.
She takes orders for all sizes and creates about 75 apples per week.
Her goal is to start shipping the apples and working on building a website. Customers can reach out to her on Facebook and Instagram or email at email@example.com.
Cain uses a Facebook page, an Etsy store and an Instagram for customers. The sauce is also available at the Dinner Table store in Tyler.
She started working with cranberry when her mom and stepdad purchased some land with an orchard a few years ago. She would give jars out to people.
“That first year, they had more fruit than they knew what to do with,” she said. “It’s so much better than the stuff in the store.”
Cain also has a day job at a cancer center in its research department. After getting off work, she often stays up to 11 p.m. or later working on her cranberry sauce in her kitchen.
Each batch of sauce, which makes about four to six jars, takes roughly three hours to prepare and can.
Cain said the experience of canning cranberries has been wonderful.
“It was my favorite thing, I think even as a child, to have at Thanksgiving,” Cain said. “I was a child that had a sweet tooth. So I could probably eat on a whole can of cranberry sauce if someone didn’t tell me not to.”
She delivers the sauce to customers in the greater Tyler area. She also ships the product sometimes, even as far as Michigan once.
Her goal is to get the cranberry sauce into specialty grocery stores. A website for the business is in the works as well.
She also plans to attend a winter bazaar in Athens in December and participate in mini farmers markets in Tyler in January and February.
People can reach Cain through Facebook, Instagram, Etsy or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“There’s no order too small or too large with enough notice,” Cain said.