Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Gourmet KarMels



Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today I have brought a sweet treat for all of you.  KarMel confections is here to talk to us about their Gourmet Karmels!  Melanie, Karson, thank you for joining us.  

Thank you for having us, James! It is great that we have people like you to help bring attention Kickstarter and its projects.

You’re too kind, first off congratulations on hitting your goal!  With almost twenty days to go on your campaign you’ve got nowhere to go but up!  Can you tell us a bit about your wonderful confections?  

Sure!  I’ve been an avid baker for most of my 20’s and in the past 5 years have gotten into candy making.  One day Karson had asked me whether I knew how to make caramels and I asked him if he’d like me to show him how.  And that’s how KarMel’s Confections was born!  We were so elated when we hit our KickStarter goal and we just excited to share these sweet bites with the world.


What made you come to Kickstarter?  Obviously it was a good choice!  

We saw how successful how other food projects turned out on KickStarter and since she has been baking for so long, we wanted to get a website going to sell some of the goodies she’s been so good at making.

So how did you get started making candy?  Are you self taught?  

I started making candy when Karson and I started dating almost 5 years ago.  He had mentioned that he liked Butterfingers and I wanted to challenge myself.  So, I made homemade Butterfinger candy!  That’s when everything started to come together.  The science behind the sugar fascinated me and I’ve been making candy since.    

Bacon?  In caramel?  How good is that really?  

I thought it was really weird at first but it seems as if everyone was putting bacon in everything!  Why not a caramel?  I was really iffy at first when I made it but I really couldn’t wait to try it!  As soon as the caramel on the spatula was cool enough, I pulled some off with my fingers and once
I tasted it, that lightbulb in my head just went off.  I was in salty sweet heaven.  
The first time I had it, I ate 4 pieces back to back.  If I weren’t on a diet, I would have eaten the whole batch!

How hard is it to promote food in a Kickstarter?  It’s not like we can get a free sample, or can we?  

I think that it is not particularly easy to promote food on Kickstarter.  We had our doubts in the beginning but once the pledges started coming in, we were excited.  Marketing is not exactly our forte so its wonderful to have a community of supporters in Kickstarter to back the project.  
Unfortunately, we are not able give out free samples.  If we did, we would probably be eaten out of house and home!

All of the flavors sound wonderful, but I don’t see just a straight up “caramel” flavor.  Am I missing something?

We could have put up a “Original” flavor but what is the fun in that?  We wanted to give people a choice of flavors with thought put in.  However an “Original” flavor will be on the website and will be just as delicious as the rest of them!

Like many Kickstarters you have a Kickstarter Exclusive.  Though unlike most yours sounds just plain “sinful.”  The KarMel Sutra is it?  

Yes, the KarMel Sutra!  We wanted to bring out something special for the Kickstarter community that has shown us so much support.  It does sound sinful and enticing!  What goes well with wine?  Chocolate!  And it’s that time of February when love is in the air...why not have a name with a sexy twist?

Now that you’ve passed your original goal do you think you’ve made enough to open an online store?  I’d hate to get your Karmels once and never again!  

I think so!  I want to get this website up and running so that people can order KarMels at their will and whim.  It’s just too cruel not to share these candies!

How did you discover Kickstarter?

I first discovered Kickstarter in an article on slashdot.org and since then, I would frequent the Kickstarter website and browse the projects that were available to support.  After seeing several successfully funded food projects, I mentioned the site to my wife (who is an amazing baker) that she could offer some of the candies she makes as a way to fund a website to promote her baked goods.   And here we are!

A key part of successful Kickstarters is backer participation and how to convert a potential backer into a full backer.   How are you engaging your backers?  What kinds of things do you have planned for updates to give notice to those who just hit the “remind me” button and surf on?  Interviews?  Videos?  Stories from the project?

We are trying to offer more freebies and discounts as well as stretch goals that will benefit those that have been such amazing supporters. At the same time, we want to try and give something to help those new to the project so they don’t feel left out. We are in the planning stage of doing more videos and hopefully some stories, but time is quickly running out.   


Gourmet Karmels -- Kicktraq Mini
What kind of media attention have you received with your project?  How are you spreading the word?  Facebook?  Twitter?  Google+? Youtube?  Advertising?  Are you using Kicktraq to track your progress?  

Besides your interview, our project has only been listed on weebly.com. Currently we have set up both a facebook page, and a twitter account for our followers. Very shortly we will add some videos and more photos so everyone can see the delicious treats that they will soon receive.

Do you have any tips/advice would you give to anyone looking to start a Kickstarter?

Besides a having a really good project, I believe the reward system is key to a successfully funded Kickstarter project. I looked at a lot of other Kickstarter projects and the ones that were the most successful were the ones that really offered supporters something for their money.

Thank you for spending your time with us!  Do you have any final thoughts for our readers?

Thank you for this interview!  It’s been great.  We really enjoyed this whole Kickstarter experience and we hope that everyone who pledged will enjoy their KarMels! We are so grateful for not only all the support from the Kickstarter community, but also from all the people that have asked us questions and/or helped get the word out there.

If you haven’t seen our project yet, please don’t wait any longer to stop by and get your KarMels: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1429585308/gourmet-karmels

Time is running out!


Thanks again and I hope to hear good things from your Kickstarter!