Product Spotlight: Lotta’s Small Batch Sauces

lottasbutterscotchYour first taste of Lotta’s Small Batch sauces will most likely not be your last. Both the Butterscotch Sauce and the Bourbon Espresso Sauce make a great topping for ice cream, cakes, or pies. You can also stir a spoonful into coffee for a sweet little kick.

Lotta’s owner Janel Ryan began making the Butterscotch Sauce as Christmas presents a number of years ago, and her friends consistently asked for more. Many even suggested that she should sell it. After she sold her half of Lotta’s Lakeside Cafe on Madeline Island, she thought, “Why not!” Starting a small business seemed like a fun project, so she jumped into sauce making.

The sauces are made in a commercial kitchen in Bayfield, Wisconsin. They contain sugar, but that is because Janel is opposed to using corn syrup. She did some research and found a product made in Louisiana that is open kettle cooked pure cane syrup. It has a deeper and richer taste than sauces made using corn syrup, plus cane syrup is not overly processed. Both sauces are made in very small batches of approximately three dozen jars. They contain liquor, but most of the alcohol is cooked off during the heating process. The sauces are stirred by hand, cooked to a specific temperature, cooled, bottled, and labeled with each batch number.

Janel is very pleased with the response to her sauces. She is also extremely grateful to her friends for their input and willingness to be taste testers. “The people in the Chequamegan Bay area are so supportive and insightful that this new endeavor has been nothing but a pleasure,” Janel says. “I plan to develop a chocolate sauce soon, and have been experimenting recently, but as yet I am still exploring the many possibilities.”

Like many small businesses, Lotta’s Small Batch has been a labor of love for Janel. She has grown slowly but surely. This next year will see her marketing Lotta’s products farther afield and hoping to grow her business. Lotta’s sauces are now available in Ashland, Bayfield, Cable, Cornucopia, Stanley, and Washburn, Wisconsin. Janel has sent samples off to Duluth and Minneapolis, Minnesota establishments with hopes that they will be picked up there soon. You will be able to keep up with the latest Lotta’s Small Batch news on a soon to be launched website and Facebook page. (We pass along the addresses when everything goes live.)

If you would like to try a sample of Lotta’s Small Batch sauces, stop by the Mini Holiday Bazaar on Wednesday, December 11 from 3 to 5 p.m. at Chequamegon Food Co-op.