I still remember my first taste of toffee. It was an Almond Roca, at my great-aunts’ house, while hiding under her extensive dining room table. And it fueled me with a love for the unmistakable mix of butter and sugar. It’s still one of the candies that will catch my eye and start my mouth-watering with just the idea of the crunchy, stick to your teeth goodness that we all know and love. Samantha of Cowboy Toffee Company has been perfecting and playing with her toffee creations for years! Meet Samantha and check out the delicious sugary sweet creations that she makes!
Please introduce yourself.
My Name is Samantha McGinnis. I am a wife, to the most amazing Husband, Dan. I am a mother of two young men. And a grandmother of twins that are 3 years old. All of which are true gifts to my life. I grew up in different parts of California and abroad i.e. San Jose, Oakdale, Sonora, Santa Cruz, San Diego, Seattle and Australia just to name a few. My little tap-root of Oakdale is where we have settled for the past ten years. It is the only place that ever truly felt like home.
What do you make or do?
That could turn into a long answer but I will abbreviate. I have had a creative, entrepreneurial streak since I was 7 years old. I was the proverbial “lemonade stand” kind of kid, although my juice of choice was pomegranate. I made stuff to sell like jewelry, embroidery, decoupage, macramé, biscotti, the list goes on. For the past four years, my hubby and I have been making Gourmet English Toffee as a full-time business. Technically, I have been making the Toffee for 32 years. I learned how to make it in High School, when Home Economics was still a viable subject. LOVED Home Ec. LOVE this business!
Where can we find your creations?
You can find all my yummy products online at https://cowboytoffeeco.com/
Or in the real world at https://www.oakdalecowboymuseum.org/
https://www.obriensmarket.com/ which is the dale road store
Oakdale In Wonderland 226 E F St, Oakdale, CA 95361
Is there an interesting story behind the name of your business?
Like I said, Oakdale has always been my “home” even though I have had many. I actually learned how to make the Toffee here in 1983, when I was a freshman. Oakdale is called “Cowboy Capital of the World” due to the fact that there are 25 Hall of Fame World Champion Rodeo Cowboy’s, which is more than any other city in the nation. Our youngest son got involved with Junior High and High School Rodeo and we became parents to a cowboy. It made perfect sense to name our business Cowboy Toffee Company.
Did someone in your family, a friend or teacher introduce you to your creative side or have they helped you along the way?
I have been very fortunate to come from a family that has been creative. I have learned so many different things from my grandparents, parents, friends, teachers and mentors. From welding, crochet, embroidery, sewing, upholstery, paper making, cooking, baking, singing, dancing. I was a barista for a while and was an apprentice in metal art and jewelry. I love every one for each piece they have contributed to the “patchwork quilt” that embodies who I am. They have all taught me the idea to never stop learning, growing and creating.
Where do you find inspiration?
My Husband and I are best friends! We do this business 100% together. We travel a fair bit and we LOVE to eat all kinds of different foods. Flavor is something that we see as an unfolding journey. We get inspired by the fact that, though we may not have vast amounts of money, eating can always be a delight. We have both loved to cook from a very early age. Danny grew up watching Jeff Smith the Frugal Gourmet, Julia Child, Jacques Pepin and Martin Yan, which he preferred over after school cartoons. He is also a big fan of The Great Outdoors. His favorite place in the world is Yosemite National Park. That is one of the places that he draws inspiration from. I find inspiration in gardening and crafting. I love making things for people. Their reaction to whatever I have made for them always fuels my fire. I really Love Martha Stewart!! She has always been a person who pulls things from within me and helps me to create. However, the majority of our creativity comes from our Creator Jesus, without Him nothing is possible.