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TikTok trend turns into a full time job for Bakersfield resident

B'Z Sweet Temptations owner Brenda Neil says her Freeze Dried Candy business continues to grow
Posted at 10:59 AM, Jul 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-30 13:59:59-04

Brenda Neil is retired, but during that time, work didn’t stop, as she found a new passion for making freeze-dried candy.

“Freeze-dried candy is your everyday candy that I put into a freeze-drying machine, and it literally heats up the candy and then a pump turns on, and it extracts the moisture from the candy,” said owner of B'Z Sweet Temptations Brenda Neil.

Neil says she learned about freeze dried candy on TikTok, and thought it would be fun to do it as a hobby. She started back in March and says the business has done well. Now it’s become more than just a hobby.

“I am working 24 hours a day. I literally will put a batch into the freeze dryer, I will set my alarm, go in there and sleep for the three or four hours, come back out to remove it, it has to be bagged pretty much immediately, and I will put another batch in,” said Neil.

Neil is currently making all her candy in her late mother's house. The name B’Z Sweet Temptations came from after her mother's name, Barbara, and her moms love for bees.

She has 29 flavors of candy and says she hopes to have more as the business keeps growing. Neil says she has invested a lot of money into the machines to produce the candy.

“You know my initial investment in the first machine and the candy I probably had five to seven thousand dollars into it,” said Neil.

Neil uses brand names for her candy and says she is allowed to do so as long as she changes the name when she packages it. Neil says if the business continues to do well, she’s not sure what the next step will be.

“I'd hate to take on the storefront because you have a lot of overhead and that means you know prices are going to escalate. I'd like to just expand a little bit more here,” said Neil.

Neil says as the demand for the candy increases, she will have to hire help as it can be overwhelming, but she still loves making the candy.

“I love to watch somebody take a bite because they go crunch and they are just oh and again your flavor is intensified after the freeze drying one hundred percent, so I love to see people enjoying the crunch and the different textures,” said Neil.