When Jen Poole fills candy jars at Sweet Indulgence, her popular, award-winning candy shop next to Ben Franklin, one of the jars she has to refill most frequently is that of an Australian licorice.
Kookaburra Licorice is soft and flavorful, and of the more than a dozen kinds of licorice in the shop, it is always fastest to sell out; not surprising, given that Kookaburra Licorice is one of the fastest-growing licorice brands in the world.
What Jen didn’t know when she bought the Australian product was that, though the candy is made half a world away, the packages in which it came were created and filled several blocks away, in Monroe. And Jen might never have known, if not for Mark Wright, who provides both the one-woman candy store and the multi-national licorice maker with Comcast internet and telephone service.
If not for another Monroe businesswoman, Kookaburra Licorice business manager Robin Faulds, the giant candy company might be packaging just about anywhere else in the world. But about 12 years ago, just as the Australian company was trying to expand, it developed a relationship with Robin.
“I met them through one of their importers,” she said. “When they chose to import it themselves, they were looking for someone to work for them. They approached me, and I said I had a daughter who was small at the time, and if they could help me set up close to home, that worked well for me.”
The company set her up with an office in her own home. At first, the company imported just three or four shipping containers of licorice per year. Since then, they have grown to import about 30 of the giant train car containers each year, which is packaged in Monroe and sent to distributors around the United States.
Sweet Indulgence hasn’t yet gotten to that size; Jen Poole still runs the shop herself, sometimes putting in 80 hours on a busy week.
Based on the recognition she has won since opening more than four years ago, her shop will likely be equally successful, though. She has been given an award by the Chamber of Commerce for providing the best customer service in town, and she has been voted among the top five candy stores in the Northwest twice in the annual King 5 Best of Western Washington Contest.
One of the reasons for that is the exceptional quality of the candies she carries, as well as her attractive displays, and Kookaburra Licorice succeeds on both fronts. Near the front of the store, in large glass jars, an array of colorful licorice twists tempts shoppers.
The fruit-flavored licorice, including green apple and mango, smell irresistible when the jars are opened, and the black licorice is flavored with real licorice root, not the artificial flavors so common in other brands. Those who buy become repeat customers.
“It’s incredible,” said Jen. “We sell more of their black licorice than any other licorice. And we have 14 kinds of licorice.”
Until Friday, when Robin joined Mark Wright at Sweet Indulgence for a photo, the two businesswomen had never met.
But that the two share not only a candy connection but a network provider illustrates the wide range of businesses served by Comcast, said Wright.
“We provide internet for not only large businesses, but for the mom-and-pop candy store right around the corner,” he said, “and we are so excited to do that.”
To contact Mark Wright to talk about what Comcast can do for your company, call (425) 322-8709.
To learn more about Kookaburra Licorice, visit www.kookaburralicorice.com, call (360) 805-6858 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sweet Indulgence is located at 19555 U.S. 2 in Monroe. For more information about Sweet Indulgence, call (360) 805-1440.