In 2004 my husband, Francois and I, took ownership of Tomfoolery Serious Chocolate, based in Huntington Beach, California. Already 25 years in business, Tomfoolery specialized in traditional hand-made chocolates, chocolate gifts, gift baskets, desserts and it’s unique chocolate dipped wine bottles, the result of pairing wine with chocolate. This latter specialty has come to be known as the chocolate covered wine or chocolate dipped wine but was patented as the Peel and Pour process by Tomfoolery’s original owner Millie Sweesy, back in the 1980’s. (To read more about Millie's story and our Peel & Pour products see Chocolate & Wine Pairing)
While growing our wedding and event cake business alongside the existing chocolate and confections we realized we needed an identity that encompassed all aspects of our business and thus Sweet Traders was born.
I would label myself and Francois “Foodies” although he is more on the savory side and I am definitely a big sweets lover! We both have travelled extensively throughout Europe, he also attended the University of Stellenbosch in the heart of the South African wine making region, and I attended University in London, U.K. where French, Spanish and Italian wines are commonplace. As a military brat our family had travelled the globe, and as young adult I had been lucky enough to spend three months touring Australia. In all that time we’d never come across chocolate and wine pairing, sure dessert wine and dessert, even port and dessert but chocolate? Yet once Millie explained the concept and we’d sampled various wines with award winning chocolate from Guittard, we were sold! (Hey, it’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it!)
We spent countless hours learning the art of hand dipping the bottles in chocolate, it looks easy once skilled, but to start it was tricky, not to mention a good work out for the arms! Then came the candy making, Millie had a treasure trove of secret recipes handed down over the years and we were lucky enough to have six months of instruction to in order to perfect them. Along the way I have added my own secret recipes to the array of products we make and the results are scrumptious!
I am a firm believer in eating the fruits of one’s labor, not only do we eat though, we enjoy! I would never dream of selling anything that I wouldn’t enjoy eating myself, and that has become our mantra here at Sweet Traders and the code upon which we operate. We produce artisanal, gourmet, delicious and mouthwatering confections and gifts lovingly made and beautifully packaged that you can be sure will impress your lucky recipient and leave them wanting more!
Sweet Traders Gifts & Baskets…
Who doesn’t like to receive a gift? Especially when it’s loaded with gourmet quality, densely packed goodies and treats! Well that’s what you receive when you order one of our gifts. I’ll be the first to admit that I am a bit of a snob when it comes to all things sweet. I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world and grew up with Europe on my doorstep, and believe me I did a lot of food and dessert sampling along the way. Exposed to some of the best restaurants, chocolatiers and bakeries in the world, who can blame a gal?
I’ve taken that knowledge and experience gathered over 30 years and put it into creating products and gifts that I myself would like to receive, that I would be proud to send to my loved ones, friends, relatives and business acquaintances. What you send to someone as a gift directly reflects your sentiments, so never compromise.
When handcrafting our gifts we never sacrifice quality for quantity, we carefully select containers and baskets that can be kept as re-useable keepsakes and because we make most of the confections within the baskets you can rest assured your recipient is enjoying hand-made artisanal treats made and packaged directly in our State & FDA approved bakery. When deemed appropriate we will add products from outside companies only if it’s something we don’t make, but be assured we will have put it to the Sweet Traders quality and taste test beforehand!
So whether it’s sweet and unique, corporate gifts, birthday gifts, holiday gift baskets, or chocolate and wine gifts, Sweet Traders is the place to shop! And remember, if you are a local to Huntington Beach or just visiting our great Surf City, you are welcome to pop in and pick up your pre-ordered gifts, custom cakes or confections!Kindest regards,
Rachael Louw | Head Pastry Chef & CEO