By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Dec 05, 2016 at 11:01 AM

If you love the way the way the complex flavors of whiskey – including those delicious notes of oak, nuts and fruit – pair with food, you’ll want to set aside some time to head over to Great Lakes Distillery on Dec. 8 from 6 to 8 p.m., where they’ll offer samples of Great Lakes cocktails paired with caramels from Becky’s Blissful Bakery.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is part of a special launch for Becky’s brand new Kinnickinnic Whiskey caramels, which will be available that evening at a special introductory price.

The whiskey caramels are just a small piece in a brand new puzzle being tackled by business owner Rebecca Scarberry, who has spent the past three years sorting through the challenges that come with growing a small business.

Founded in 2007, Becky’s Blissful Bakery started off making its preservative-free caramels in a small facility in Pewaukee. But new accounts and business growth meant that, by 2015, demand began to surpass capacity. When a temporary move to contract manufacturing proved unsatisfactory, Scarberry says she knew she had to make a change.

"At some point, I feel like I lost the pulse on the business," she says. "And I realized that there are numerous advantages to having a more hands on approach with my product, including being able to be nimble and execute quickly when demand warrants it."

So this summer, she moved the business to a brand new facility at 16336 W. Glendale Dr. in New Berlin. In addition to being larger, Scarberry says, the new facility, which is decked out with brand new equipment, allows more flexibility in terms of the types of flavors she can produce.

"It’s really fun to collaborate with other local food lovers and use their ingredients to come up with great new products," she says. "In recent years, I’ve missed that. I’ve missed working with the folks at Rishi Tea and with Guy Rehorst at Great Lakes Distillery. Food is fun. Caramels are fun. And I’m really happy to be back at it."

In addition to the new whiskey caramels, Scarberry says she’s released a number of brand new (or returning) flavors including eggnog, gingerbread and … peppermint.

If that last flavor gave you pause, you’re not alone. But Scarberry says you have to taste them to believe how good they are.

"Seriously," she says. "They’re delicious. I love coming up with new flavors like that that really surprise people. It’s so fun to be able to play in the kitchen again."

Scarberry says she'll plan a grand opening party for the new facility, which she hopes will soon house a small retail space, in 2017. So, watch the Facebook page for additional details.

Purchase Becky’s Blissful Bakery caramels online at beckysblissfulbakery.com or at select local retailers.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.