Boy, this has been a big year so far for local Rancho Mirage confectioner Brandini Toffee. First off, new products keep flying off the shelves. In addition to the original toffee simply made of sugar, butter, chocolate, and almonds, the entire array now includes the relatively new and best-selling popcorn, plus brownies, pretzels, chocolate almond bark, milkshakes, and ice cream bars (the last of which is such a treat as hot, hot summer approaches). There’s even a Babe’s Brandini Toffee Brown Ale that’s just been released by Babe’s Bar-B-Que & Brewhouse. Yet another way to beat the heat!
Then there’s the merchandising expansion. In addition to the Rancho Mirage factory and the Palm Springs shop, retails outlets include local Costcos, six Whole Foods, Jensen’s, Nordstrom.com, and more than 150 mom-and-pop (and pop-and-pop, and mom-and-mom) grocery stores around the country. But here’s the most exciting news I’ve heard in a longtime: Negotiations are underway for the unveiling of a third branded Brandini sweet store at the Cabazon Outlets on I-10. Toffee-loving shoppers, unite!
To top it all off, Brandini also has a new home base. “The redevelopment of the Rancho Las Palmas Shopping Center has forced us to relocate,” says de facto toffee honcho Brandon Weimer, still just an impressive 25 years old. “This has been a blessing in disguise, as we would not have been able to keep up with the demands of the upcoming 2016-2017 season in our original factory space.”
At 15,000 square feet, the new location (which triples the original floor plan) leaves Brandini enough room to grow for years to come. Housed where Tuesday Morning used to be, the completely refurbished space is a short walk from the original factory in the Rancho Las Palmas Shopping Center at 42250 Bob Hope Drive off Highway 111 in Rancho Mirage. Not only does the new site have increased seating for customers who wish to eat-in, it has a wholly transparent factory that offers a one-of-a-kind show as Brandini’s toffee elves tool away prepping, cooking, cooling, and packing the sweet stuff to the delight of onlookers. There’s also a great exposed-brick wall upon which hang framed photos and articles telling not only Brandini’s story but that of the original building, rumored to once have housed the first municipal airport to serve the Palm Springs Valley.
I couldn’t leave you, dear readers, without whispering something in your ear. Brandon tells me that he has very, very big news coming in September. Yes, I know what it is—but I’ve been sworn to secrecy! How dare I ever betray Brandon’s trust in me? But you better believe your bonbons that I’ll be back to report it as soon as I’m allowed. Let’s just say it’ll be a terrific way for Brandini to celebrate its 10th anniversary on October 1!