By: Eryn Pinksen
NAIT culinary student Mercedes McKinlay owns and operates a lollipop business with her mom and they are having overwhelming success after having their gold leaf, rose and champagne lollies in the 61st Grammy presenter gift bags.
The business did not start as a business but began when McKinlay saw lollipops with flowers on Pinterest and noticed people’s interest in them. Then mother-daughter team started making their handcrafted gourmet 2.5” lollies as a way to bond.
“When we started to get into flavourings… I thought this was a way I could play with flavours by combining different things and seeing what people like and what goes better together and that’s where I took from culinary [program],” said McKinlay.
With over 100 flavours the mother-daughter team loves to experiment. After a mistake adding salt instead of sugar, they created a happy accident and discovered their salted lime margarita lollie, which is one of their most popular flavours.
Now they have multiple salted and savoury lollipop flavours. McKinlay’s favourite flavours are the rose cardamom and the cocoa lavender.
They starting selling their lollies in farmer’s markets and The Makers Keep shops in Windermere and Kingsway Mall. After multiple sellouts, their popularity continued to grow their business.
After their treats were in the Grammy gift bags, they have felt an outpouring of support have seen a major increase in business with weddings, bridal showers, parties and local events as they sell wholesale in boxes.
“It was not until we made it public that we put the lollipops in the Grammy’s that the work started becoming a lot,” said McKinlay. “Everyone was [saying] we want this, we want big orders for weddings.”
McKinlay explained that they are looking to making a full website to keep up with all the incoming orders.
Sumptuous Lollies are now sold for five dollars at Shop at NAIT and were completely sold out on their first day in the story.