Wyoming’s Sweet Secret
By Sara Celi, Contributing Writer
Photos and video by Madison Schmidt
Tucked away in the woods of Wyoming, Heather Haws-Babb brews chocolate candies that have an international following. She's most famous for her buckeyes, which have a distinctive rich taste that sets them apart from other chocolatiers. In the last five years, her home-based confectionary, Three B's Sweets, has transformed from hostess gifts Heather created for parties, into a business that spreads her love of delectable desserts.
Ask her about the ride, and she's still a little bit in awe. It's not every day that a person gets to do what they love. Heather says that makes her very lucky.
"I've sold my chocolates to customers in Kuwait," she says. "And even to Finland. I have a store in Finland who wants to stock me."
sHeather doesn't try to hide the shock she feels from this fact. In fact, she marvels in it a little, and she says the growth shows the power of an internet-based business. In such a connected world, more customers than she ever dreamed have now tried her goodies.
By the way, she makes those sought-after buckeyes from a secret recipe. If you ask her to share it, she won't reveal the twist in her mix that sets the candies apart.
"I love to see the looks on people's faces when they try samples of my chocolates. I thoroughly enjoy seeing people try them for the first time," she says. "Sometimes when I am out and about, or at a party, I will watch people I don't know get the wide-eyed look while they are eating them. I love it."
The magic of Three B's Sweets happens around the dining table of Heather's mid-century modern ranch. Many days, she works for hours dipping candy centers into special chocolate warmers and placing them on large trays. It's not unusual for Heather to make thousands of dark, milk, and white chocolate buckeyes a week. Some are for private engagements, others for direct sales, and still more head to corporate clients.
As a result, she's become an expert at rolling and dipping the perfect sized treat. She also makes several other specialty chocolate candies: butterflies, boulders, buttercups and more. Each unique candy has a "b" in the name, keeping with the theme of Three B's.
"I'm a person who has more ideas than time," she says. "And I always think, 'what could you do if you knew you couldn't fail?' "
The candy-making almost feels like muscle memory to her, mainly because the buckeye recipe has been in her family for decades. Heather's grandmother used to make them, then showed her mother, who then showed her. Through all the years, the buckeyes were a huge hit at family events, parties, and as holiday gifts. Heather says she often had special requests for the candies, and worth of mouth about her treats grew into something of a local following.
When she left her full-time job after her last pregnancy, Heather decided to give professional chocolate making a go. So far, it's turned out well. Most of all, running this small business has given her freedom and flexibility.
"It works fabulously. I like to work at all different hours, and all different times. I don't have to go some place to work on it, I can do it whenever."
That has let Heather's creativity take hold, and allowed her to design candies that are unique. Many of them have peanut butter, salt, chocolate, and caramel as part of the ingredients, all if which have become sort of 'signatures' for Three B's. Most recently, she developed and perfected a bourbon buckeye. She uses Woodford Reserve bourbon and expects those to be a top seller this holiday season.
"Surprisingly enough, bourbon, chocolate, and peanut butter go well together," she says. "Also, it was harder than I thought because bourbon conflicts with one of my key ingredients and makes it lose the texture. But, I think I have it pretty much narrowed down."
Interested in ordering a few for yourself? Check it all out at her website.
Heather's chocolates are also found on the dessert menu at Tela Bar + Kitchen, and at the Wyoming Pastry Shop during the holiday season.