Toffee-making is a sweet endeavor in the city

August 17, 2014
“The Dangerous Stuff,” shown on display in Chicco Baccello, is the Toffee House's original variety. - Trista Thurston/Observer-Reporter Order a Print

The Observer-Reporter's ongoing web series, “Making It Here,” covers things local and distinctive.

Brewing beer was the subject of our previous installment. Now it's “The Dangerous Stuff” – literally.

Your sweet tooth is the target, as we're going to see how The Toffee House makes candy.

The Toffee House is a local specialty candy company, founded by Don and Laura Ross in 2002. Laura had been baking and making toffee to give as gifts around the holiday season. When people began telling her how delicious it was, she knew she had to go somewhere with it.

Don lost his job and they took the plunge into full-time candy-making. Laura's accounting experience and Don's previous job in web design means they can run the business virtually themselves during the summer.

During the winter, though, they enlist the help of friends, family and more to make and break “The Dangerous Stuff,” their original and most popular variety.

As the Ross family expanded from six children to nine, the business grew. Don and Laura originally made the toffee in their kitchen before expanding to a warehouse in Maiden Business Park, Washington. The larger workplace and better equipment enabled them to make larger batches more frequently.

The Toffee House's products can be be purchased at Chicco Baccello in downtown Washington and area Market District Giant Eagle stores.

Chicco Baccello is a coffee and toffee shop featuring other drinks, desserts and sandwiches. It is on South Main Street in Washington, inside the former Rachel Rose's Specialty Boutique and Coffee House.

The Rosses own the business along with Laura's sister, Nancy Ogburn, and Nancy's son and daughter-in-law, Andrew and Lauren Ogburn. They purchased Rachel Rose's from Mark Kennison, owner of the Upper Crust restaurant a few doors up Main.

Nancy, of Mt. Lebanon, is the resident baker and manager there.

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