I am very sad to write about the demise of yet another much beloved food purveyor. BonBonBars burst onto the artisanal candy scene last year with a high quality take on the humble candy bar. I, along with many other fans, raved about the excellent Scotch Bar which married chocolate, caramel and sea salt with a hint of Talisker, and the fun just kept coming with wonderful, light and fluffy marshmallows and a chocolate-caramel-nut bar that wowed nearly everyone who tried it. These were, quite simply, the best candy bars I have ever tasted.
Like many small enterprises, BonBonBars was a one woman project, run by Northern California transplant Nina Wanat who also blogged about her candy-making. From what I gather, the bars were mostly made to order in a small, commercial kitchen.
Nina was the best type of artisanal craftsperson. She was experimental, she was always trying something new and she sought out the highest quality ingredients. Her enthusiasm for the chocolate bars she was making was contagious. Reading her blog was almost like an apprenticeship in candy making. She shared both the joys and trials of filling orders, mixing chocolate and experimenting with new candies. It added to the whole experience by giving each candy bar a back story.
I don't know the reasons or circumstances of the shutdown, but in a letter to her customer mailing list, Nina informed us that she was moving back to Northern California and that BonBonBars was going on "hiatus". I will miss Bonbon Bars; they were a wonderful treat and a perfect gift. I wish only the best for Nina, and hopefully, in not too long, the public will again have the chance to share the fruits of her candy-making genius.