Quick-Fire Questions: Fat Toad Farm
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the most successful products are often the simplest. Fat Toad Farm is a prime example. The team produces a tasty Mexican treat called cajeta, which is basically caramel made from goat’s milk.
The sauce pairs nicely with ice cream, coffee, fruit, or even chocolate. Or you could, you know, indulge yourself and eat it straight from the jar with spoon in hand.
The company has since expanded their product line to include other mouthwatering flavors.
About Fat Toad Farm
Established in 2007, Fat Toad Farm is owned and operated by Steve Reid, Judith Irving, and Calley Hastings. This small, family-run business produces gluten-free caramel by mixing goat’s milk with pure cane sugar and hand-stirring the mixture in copper cauldrons as it boils and reduces for five hours. It’s the kind of labor the farm undertakes with pride every day as they make a living off their land in Vermont.
The owners tout the fact that their products are high-quality. None of their sauces contain preservatives or stabilizers. Up until 2015, all goats were fed, milked, and looked after on-site.
After almost nine years in the business, the farm hit maximum capacity. They could no longer keep up with the demand. So in 2016, they partnered with Vermont Creamery as a supplier of fresh, local goat’s milk.
“At the beginning of 2016, we started our partnership with Vermont Creamery to source a year-round supply of fresh, local goat’s milk. Our beautiful and mischievous herd of dairy goats moved eight miles down the road to Ayers Brook Goat Dairy, a first-of-its-kind model goat dairy in the United States.” says Christine Porcaro, sales and marketing manager of Fat Toad Farm.
With Vermont Creamery handling milk production, Fat Toad Farm is now focusing on delivering caramel sauces people just can’t get enough of.
If anything, the farm’s story is an example of how hard work pays off. Their unrelenting work ethic and dedication has won them multiple awards including Outstanding Product Line at the 2015 Fancy Food Show, Good Food 2017 Awards winner for Vanilla Bean Goat’s Milk Caramel Sauce, and 2017 SOFI New Product category for their Bourbon Barrel Aged Hard Cider Goat’s Milk Caramel Sauce.
Question and Answer
Christine Porcaro was gracious enough to answer some of our questions about their operations. Our team at NextDayFlyers couldn’t be more grateful.
How do people usually find you? Is it through marketing, word of mouth, etc?
“I would say that people normally find us through word of mouth, social media and also seeing our Goat’s Milk Caramel Sauce in stores throughout the US. The fat toad is always pretty memorable!”
I have to admit, I’ve never had goat’s milk caramel. How does it differ from regular caramel? Are there health benefits to choosing goat’s milk over regular milk? Does it taste different?
“Our Traditional Goat’s Milk Caramel Sauce is based on the Mexican confection, cajeta. It is made by mixing together goat’s milk and pure cane sugar in copper pots and cooking it down over the course of about 5 hours. Regular caramel is usually made with a butter and cream base with a shorter cook time so the composition and flavor is very different from our goat’s milk caramel sauces.
We do not use any preservatives, stabilizers or high fructose corn syrup in our caramel, just goat’s milk, pure cane sugar and baking soda. This makes our caramel absolutely delicious and also a better choice when you are trying to satisfy your sweet tooth!”
What other products do you offer aside from goat’s milk caramel? Which one do you think should curious foodies try first?
“The only product that we produce is our goat’s milk caramel sauces. They come in 9 different flavors: Original, Salted Bourbon, Vanilla Bean, Cinnamon, Cold Brew Coffee, Spicy Dark Chocolate, Vermont Maple, Irish Whiskey Cream and Bourbon Barrel Aged Hard Cider. We also have some gift boxes that feature our caramel, like our Sweet Summer Sundae Kit and our Caramel Apple Kit.
If someone has never had our caramel before, I always recommend that they try our Original flavor first… it is a rich and creamy, not-too-sweet caramel that delivers an irresistibly complex flavor.”
How do you come up with new flavors? Where do you draw inspiration?
“In coming up with new flavors, we definitely pay attention to what is happening in the specialty food world, but we also just see what awesome and delicious ingredients are being produced around us. Four of our flavors feature local producers that we are HUGE fans of: Vermont Artisan Coffee Co. for our Cold Brew Coffee, Taza Chocolate for our Spicy Dark Chocolate, Cold Hollow Cider Mill for our Vermont Maple, and Stowe Cider for our Bourbon Barrel Aged Hard Cider.”
You have a huge following on social media. In your opinion, what’s the key to having a good social media following? How do you interact with your fans?
“We have always concentrated on sharing our authentic story. People obviously want a delicious product but they also want to know where that product is coming from and also who is making that product. We have used social media as a platform for sharing who we are, our daily lives, the beauty of Vermont and our community and of course some delicious recipes. I may be a little bias but Fat Toad Farm fans are the best 😉 A lot of our fans will share photos of how they like to use our caramel or if they found it in a store in a small town in North Dakota! We are so grateful for their engagement with and passion for Fat Toad Farm and we try to always remain active and responsive on all of our social media platforms to encourage continued active engagement.”
What would you say is the best thing about running your own business?
“It has been great to be able to provide jobs in our community as well as be a part of Vermont agriculture and to support the goat dairies and the open land that make our state beautiful and our communities vibrant. The unlimited goat’s milk caramel sauce is also a plus!”
The Benefits of Print Marketing
Our exchange with Christine also covered details about how they’ve used print marketing to expand their business.
I really like the business cards you printed. The design is so simple yet eye-catching and memorable. How do you use your business cards (and other items you ordered from us like your postcards and table tents)?
“Thank you! A lot of the items we have printed with NextDayFlyers are used in our sampling kits that are sent out to all of our distributor and wholesale customers all across the US. They are used as display[s] near our caramel to catch people’s eyes, to help tell our story, and to share recipes on how to use our caramel.
We also send out our printed recipe and info cards to our website customers. It is a great way to make a simple package look beautiful and also a nice way to share some more information with our customers.”
How does print marketing help your business grow?
“It allows us to have beautiful material to share with our customers whether it be in the packages we ship out or at a tradeshow. It is a way for us to stand out and for people to remember us. We take pride in the look of our caramel so having well-made, complimentary print material is a must!”
What made you decide to work with NextDayFlyers? How did you find the overall experience?
“A friend who is a print designer actually recommended NextDayFlyers to me a few years ago. I tried it out and the prints were easy to order and when we received them they looked great! I have to say what kept me coming back was the customer service. Whether it was the online chat or over the phone, it was always an awesome experience.”
Anything you’d like to share with our readers?
“Find our caramel online on our website at www.fattoadfarm.com and when you order you’ll get to receive some of the awesome print material that we print with NextDayFlyers!”
Do you want to share how NextDayFlyers has helped you grow your business? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org