Shasta Gold Caramel Corn

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Northern California residents and visitors to the region have been abuzz lately about the discovery of a new kind of gold. But you won’t find this gold in the streambeds or deep under ground. In fact, thanks to the entrepreneurial spirit of the Martinez family of Redding, nuggets of Shasta Gold Caramel Corn can be easily obtained right from the shelves of North State retailers without even breaking a sweat.

Richard Martinez says his family’s caramel corn recipe had been a hit at family gatherings for many years. That positive feedback gave the family the idea to produce their sweet treat for sale to the public. Then in 2012, state legislature passed the California Homemade Food Act paving the way for the Martinez family to sell their homemade gold to the public.

Richard and his wife Trina, along with daughter Olivia and son Ryan, share in every aspect of the business, from marketing to production, packaging and delivery. “It gave us the opportunity to teach our kids how to take an idea, form a business, produce a product, and bring it to market,” says Richard. “Spending time together as a family and working together as a team to produce a tasty and fun treat is extremely fulfilling,” he adds. The family also gives back to the community by offering Shasta Gold to non-profit organizations at a significant discount for fundraising opportunities.

While the Martinez family certainly hopes Shasta Gold will become a profitable venture, it’s clear the business is a labor of love. “It’s a little like being a chemist,” Richard notes. “I love working with the hot butter and sugar, stirring until it reaches just the right temperature, knowing the temperature is right … not with a thermometer, but with my eyes. The caramel reaches a certain level of color and fragrance, and then when I add that final splash of vanilla it smells amazing. Every batch is made this way by hand and delivered to local stores the very next day.”

That’s the kind of love and attention to detail that goes into those sweet golden nuggets of handcrafted, homemade Shasta Gold Caramel Corn. And now you don’t even have to be a Martinez to enjoy their family recipe.  

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John Bowman
About John Bowman

John Bowman is a writer, musician and father living in Siskiyou County where he takes inspiration from the mountains, rivers and communities of the North State region.

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