The Jeavons Toffee Story:
We’re a small family business based in Brighton, a husband and wife team. We’re a vegan family, and we love our food – healthy or otherwise – we all like our tasty treats!
Our mission is to provide toffee based treats that are at least as good as the dairy based sweets that we used to love.
My name is Corin, and when I was a teenager back in the 80s, I used to make my own sweets at home with the help of one of my Mum’s big old recipe books. Early in 2015 I remembered this and thought that I’d love to try and make dairy-free versions of those sweets for the whole family to enjoy. My first attempts were surprisingly good, although they were missing some of that toffee magic. I loved Toffos as a kid, and I wanted that exact flavour and texture that I remember, nothing less would do, and so the quest for the perfect recipe began!
Later that summer my wife Lesley, while nibbling on a chunk of my latest test batch of toffee, smiled at me and said: “You should sell these, people will love them!” And so the seed was planted. When our son Aidan said one evening “You should put peanuts in these.” there was no stopping us!
I first set out to produce a vegan-friendly soft chewy toffee covered in chocolate, and it was a sensation! “Oh my god, it’s like a Rolo!” was the the common response. Friends and family who tried them loved them, and couldn’t believe that they weren’t dairy. “If we didn’t know you and trust you, we wouldn’t believe that these were vegan!”
By the end of the year, after hundreds of experimental batches and studying up on the science of sugar confection, and with help and support from some scientific minds, I finally got the ingredients and the method perfected. Now I’ve got a toffee that’s every bit as good as my childhood memories! It’s not been easy, and I can see why toffee isn’t made much by the big companies anymore, it’s a tricky science to get that distinctive flavour and texture, and making it on a huge scale is almost impossible. That’s why the best toffee is made in pans, in small batches, to get the best flavours. We’re not just making dairy-free toffee, we’re making GREAT toffee!
I’ve never understood the ‘Haribo Generation’ and their ilk, eating soft squidgy things that don’t really taste of much. Why would you, when you could be chewing on a heavenly toffee? But there aren’t any good dairy-free toffees out there – until now that is. There’s nothing raw here, and dates come nowhere near our toffee. Toffee requires caramelised sugars, and that’s a tradition we stick to – there’s no pale imitations here!
I’m a photographer by trade, have been for more than 16 years, working mainly in fashion, commuting to London, but I’ve also worked with many charities over the years, including the wonderful Viva!, the Vegan Society, the Vegetarian Society, and Peta. If you know the dairy industry campaign Viva! ran years back of a suited gent sucking on a cow’s udders – that’s me that is! But toffee has become my new vocation (and I don’t miss the London commute!), I think the teenage me would be happily surprised.
My wife Lesley used to work for Viva! as the director’s PA, and has been running her own diet & exercise classes since. So if anyone is worried that our toffee might have them pile on the pounds, just come along to one of her classes!
So if like me, you miss toffees and toffee chocolate ‘cups’, or the satisfaction of a peanut packed chew, then you’ve come to the right place!