If all of this sounds too obsessive by half, Slatkin says it's for a reason. With approximately 180,000 products expected to be showcased at this month's Fancy Food Show, it's not enough to have a flavorful or colorful product. Distributors and specialty stores want to know that business structures are in place to produce and deliver the goods when called upon. Middlemen can sniff out disorganization like milk that's past its expiration date.
Slatkin's and Burke's attention to detail has apparently paid off. They have lined up distributors that will get their products into stores nationwide. The candies are already available in all Peet's Coffee & Tea outlets and Balducci's stores.
A natural question arises here as Torie & Howard hard candies begin to trickle into the market: With obesity and diabetes on the rise, isn't all this tempting designer candy a potentially troublesome development?
"Sweets are one of the joys of life. I can't imagine a day without sweets," says the man who lost 100 pounds. "The key is to do it in moderation."