By Hye June Park
Traditional Mexican candy is a great treat that all families and friends can eat together. Local made artisan candies by Sweet Tsopelik have a variety of ingredients from fruits, nuts, honey, syrup, flour, and corn which makes it perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth.
Daniela Ariza, the owner of Sweet Tsopelik, specializes in creating her own artisan candies that people may have not seen in the United States before. Tsopelik means sweet or candy in Nahuatl, an ancestral language from Mexico. She uses organic ingredients and less sugar than the original candies from Mexico. She also gives the option for vegans as well. “I didn’t want to use ingredients that need refrigeration like milk or eggs. So now, anyone from a toddler to a senior can try my candies.”
She started her business after taking one of Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI) workshop series, “I took the class which helped me find business ideas.”
“I created “Garapiñados” which are peanuts covered with sugar from my town. Even though it is my first time to make candies, I read books, did research, and taught myself. I had many failures to make perfect ones, but what I needed was more patience. Finally, I shared good ones with my sisters in law and they loved the sweet treats. That is how I decided to make my business about candies,” she explained.
Starting a business was not always easy and Daniela had some obstacles. Due to her lack of transportation, the venues she could sell her products to were limited. EGBI connected her to organizations such as The Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Las Comadres para las Americas, and Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas. Daniela has received help and support from those resources and the community to reach more customers. Her next goal is to reach a broader, worldwide audience that will buy her products.
These special artisan candies can be found when shopping at HOPE Farmer’s Market located in 412 Comal St, Austin every Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm. For more information about Sweet Tsopelik, visit sweetsopelik.com.