January 31, 2024

Faces, Places & Voices Of PVREA: Vern’s Toffee House

Human Interest Stories

The rich and complex flavors of a well-crafted toffee are undeniable at first bite. This sweet yet toasty experience is both nostalgic and luxurious.

It’s the perfect treat for gifts, thank yous, or pick-me-ups. And it’s been locally made and sold in Fort Collins for 48 years and 4 generations at Vern’s Toffee House.

Mary told us a little about herself and how this family-oriented, family-owned business has stayed successful ever since her father first created his secret recipe for homemade English toffee back in 1976.

A recipe that uses only the finest and freshest natural ingredients without any artificial preservatives. The result is an all-natural, gluten-free product that maintains an old-fashioned, home-cooked flavor.

In 1984 Mary and her husband Ron left their traditional careers to do something different and fun. After 8 years, they purchased the business from Vern and his wife Gert in 1992.

“I was excited and nervous at the same time,” Mary explained, “because we were kind of in the unknown.” She said she didn’t know how they were to grow the business, “and that in itself was scary.”

But after relying on her dad’s used electric typewriter to fulfill orders for years, new technology paved the way forward into the digital world.

“In 1992 when we took over the business, we said we’ve got to get a computer! And that was the beginning.”

Through a combination of online, over-the-phone, and in-person sales, Vern’s award-winning secret toffee recipe can be found all across the US.

“It’s a fun business because we know a lot of our people,” Mary said. Notice the word “people” and not “customers” – it goes to show the view and value they have for their people, much like how your local electric cooperative views and values our members.

Their focus on upholding high levels of service reflects their attention to the quality of their product. Mary said her dad adamantly opposed anything except producing the best. “You cannot change the recipe! You cannot compromise the quality! Whatever it takes is what it takes, because we will not compromise the quality of our candy.”

For 19 years they successfully ran the business and expanded sales and production until, in 2011, their daughter Stefanie and son-in-law Patrick took the reins.

This latest generation of owner/operators have continued the rich traditions of quality and service while preserving the family recipe and focus on serving their people. They’ve grown into social media and have introduced a new line of products – assorted flavors of truffles.

Mary’s granddaughter Katie, the fourth generation, has now joined too.

What to Taste

  • Valentine’s Day Toffee Box
  • Milk & Dark Chocolate Toffee
  • Almond Toffee Toppings – perfect for baking or poured over ice cream
  • Gourmet Nuts – paired with your favorite beverage
  • Gift Towers, Baskets, Boxes & More

Where to Try

Vern’s Toffee House

444 S. Link Lane, Fort Collins, CO