Originally a  Christmas Tradition.

Now a little bit more.

We are third- and fourth-generation French-Canadian caramel makers.

What started as a family tradition has slowly blossomed into something just a little bit more.  For nearly 100 years our family has been making caramel at the holidays, but around 35 years ago, the third generation took things to a new level.

It started with just one or two batches.  Using a recipe handed down from my great Grandmother, my mother, Jackie, would make a batch or two just before my sister’s birthday in December.  She would invite her whole family over for a ‘birthday party’ but out would come the uncut caramel and everyone would chip in and help cut and wrap.  After a few years of this the family realized they’d been hoodwinked.  “HEY!  WE WANT IN!!” and the ‘birthday party’ turned into a ‘caramel fest’.  Everyone would bring their ingredients and over the course of a couple days, many batches would be made, cut, then wrapped.  They were evenings filled with Christmas music, candles, and perhaps a drink or two. There have been more than a few discussions on whether we should twist the wrappers or fold them, which pans work better, does gas or electric heat make a difference, which thermometer is more accurate…  the year we stopped cutting our own wax paper wrappers and used factory-made candy wrappers was rather controversial – half preferred the old way, half the new  – we’re pretty stuck on tradition!  (Consequently, we kept the new wrappers – do you know how much time it takes to cut 6000 pieces of wax paper??)

There was (and still is) only one rule, and that was nobody could ever give away the recipe.  You were only allowed “in” through marriage.  If you were an outsider, you might be allowed to stir.  Maybe.

The family has grown, we kids have kids of our own now, and even MORE caramels are needed at the holidays.  The caramel-fest lasts about a week. There are “shifts” to get through it all, but  it’s usually poor Uncle Tommy who is tasked with the job of cutting nearly the entire lot!   It’s a whole lot of work, but we have a whole lot of fun doing it, and it’s just not Christmas without this crazy tradition of ours.

We’ve come a long way since our family Christmas Caramel-Fest, But our caramels are still hand made to order  with only natural ingredients from a recipe handed down several French-Canadian generations 🙂 .

In 2019 we partnered with life-long family friend Matty Poskus.  Matty’s and my mother were friends at St. Joe’s (the same French-Canadian Catholic school we both went to), and we both grew up in “The Point” of Salem.  Matty’s grandmother also made these caramels, and we reckon, at Christmas time all of these Memeres and Grand Meres probably got together to make them for the St Joseph’s Christmas Fair and to give as gifts.

Together, we are keeping alive not just an amazing recipe, but the memories of family and our beloved grandmothers.  We do hope you enjoy them as much as we love making them.

Eat in moderation…if you can!

Merci et bon appetit!

Because our Caramels are handmade there will always be variations in shape and size.  We use an analog thermometer, so there could be subtle variations in color or hardness with each batch.

They are not a rock-hard caramel, they are soft but firm.  They are affected by temperature, so in summer they will get soft, winter hard.  Keeping them in a cool dry place will ensure they maintain their original state, although these variations in temperature do not change their yumminess one bit!  They are not made in a nut-free kitchen.

They are best served at room temperature.  They do not have preservatives in them, and it is recommended you eat them within eight weeks. They can be frozen to extend their life but PLEASE  let them thaw out before you go to eat them!  Store them in a tin or tupperware to ensure freshness – or why not get a vintage glass Caramel de Bouchard jar from our Caramel Shop?

These are caramels, made of sugar and dairy…more sugar – there is nothing healthful in them at all, but when I smell them cooking, I am always reminded of my favorite things: my grandmothers, holidays and family, so while they may not be great for the ol’ waistline, they are definitely wonderful for the SOUL!


Thanks to Covid, there haven’t been any tasting or pop-up events, but watch this space.  As soon as the vaccine is out we’re going to be EVERYWHERE!

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Our Caramels are in big demand at local breweries and other local maker pop-ups.  Get in touch to see how Caramels de Bouchard can delight your patrons and add value to your next event.

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