About Southern Caramel

Our Family

Southern Caramel is family-owned and operated by a Daughter/ Father duo. Sarah and Jimi have spent some of their most memorable years together in the Florida woods. They would talk about the joys of life and share about their fears, hopes and dreams. They talked about planning for tomorrow while enjoying the present day; all while soaking in the glory of God’s creation. At some point, these hopes and dreams turned to conversations of whether the concept of Southern Caramel was a journey they could walk through together. They both felt the answer was “yes” and so they invite you to share along in this journey with them. A journey built on faith, family, giving and making a difference in the lives of others.

Southern Caramel was started as a way for Sarah to be home with her daughter, at a time when she needed her the most.  Step back a generation, and the roles are reversed as Jimi joined Southern Caramel when his daughter needed him the most.

When Sarah is not surrounded by caramel, she is surrounded by the ones she loves.  She demonstrates her love for others by cooking or baking, which is really the genesis of how Southern Caramel began.  In her free time, she loves cooking elaborate meals and planning her next party.  Whether it be a birthday party or a dessert buffet, she loves using food as a way to connect with people and share life together.  She also loves being outdoors, and you can usually find her kayaking, camping or clay shooting.  She is blessed to serve in her church and is passionate about sharing the love of God with children.  Southern Caramel is an extension of the values and people she cares the most about, and the people and customers she works with brings her much joy and fulfillment.  Her favorite caramel is Chocolate Strawberry.

Jimi is an avid outdoorsman and loves to hunt and fish.  He is also a talented musician and serves as a lead guitarist in his church.  Jimi also is a gifted woodworker and will gladly drop whatever he is doing to help out a friend with a project of their own.  Next to his Lord Jesus, his greatest love is for his family and for a small close-knit group of friends that he has been blessed with knowing.  He will tell you that the single most thing that brings him joy is the fact that every member of his immediate family is serving the Lord in one capacity or another. His favorite caramel is Bourbon.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith

Jimi DePietro
Jimi DePietro

Our Story

Sarah Smith started Southern Caramel in 2013 as a way to be home with her newborn daughter. She had been making the caramels for family, friends, and co-workers when she was encouraged to take the leap from her life in the aerospace industry to full-time mom and entrepreneur. The caramels were made from her home kitchen during naptime and in the evenings and sold direct to friends or through Farmer’s Markets.

As her daughter grew, so did the business. Sarah moved the business from her home to a shared commercial kitchen space, which is when the wholesale side of business started along with the addition of online sales. She was then joined by her father, Jimi DePietro, in 2018. At that time, they moved into their own production space, which is where they operate to this day.

Southern Caramel is both a certified woman-owned business and family-owned and operated. They manufacture and ship from sunny Melbourne, Florida.

Our Caramel

At Southern Caramel we make one thing, and we make it well. We believe that the art of making handmade caramel is more than the mastery of blending ingredients together. Taking the time to slow things down is important in the kitchen and in life.

Making caramel is a process that can’t be rushed. We start by actually caramelizing our pure cane sugar, which results in a great depth of flavor that is lacking in many caramels. True caramel isn’t overly sweet, and our caramel will have you coming back for more. The base of each recipe is sugar, cream, and butter. We do not use any corn syrup or artificial flavorings. We craft a smooth and creamy caramel with a buttery finish that will tantalize your taste buds.

 Small Batch Quality:

  • Free from Corn Syrup
  • No Artificial Flavors
  • Naturally Gluten-Free
  • Won’t stick to your teeth
  • 3 Main ingredients: Sugar, Cream & Butter
  • Year-Round Favorites and Seasonal Flavors

Giving

We want all of our valued and cared-for customers to know that when you shop with Southern Caramel, you are having a direct impact on the lives of others.  Giving is such a big part of Southern Caramel – we love creating caramel gifts for your loved ones which enables us to give back to the community around us.

Southern Caramel donates a minimum of 10% of its total sales dollars to non-profit organizations that are dedicated to improving the lives of people that need it most. As a woman-owned business, some of the causes we feel called to support include those related to human trafficking, domestic abuse, and women battling breast cancer.

Zonta Club of Melbourne; Driven By Heart; Brevard Alzheimer’s Foundation; No Bad Days Foundation; Candlelighter’s of Brevard; Preeclampsia Foundation; Serene Harbour; and Love, Inc.

Who We Are

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8
Our founder, Sarah Smith, began making caramel as Christmas gifts for loved ones and co-workers in 2012. Many people encouraged her to start a business and sell her caramel, which was rapidly growing in popularity with those that had tried it. At the time, she enjoyed her job in project management and scheduling for the aerospace industry. While she appreciated the positive feedback she received, she never really considered a life of entrepreneurship. In 2013, Sarah was expecting a child and had a desire to stay home with her daughter. Suddenly, the concept of starting a caramel business didn’t seem like such a far-fetched idea and thus, Southern Caramel was born. Sarah’s business launched with humble beginnings. She made the caramel out of her home kitchen in the evenings, while still working in her aerospace job during the day. By 2015, she was operating out of a commercial kitchen of a local business that had been kind enough to share its facility with her. This allowed Southern Caramel to expand into local grocery markets and offer products via the internet.
As business grew and production increased, it was time for a move and some other big changes. In 2018, Southern Caramel moved into our own dedicated space, spearheaded by Jimi DePietro, Sarah’s father and business partner. With over 35 years experience in the business world managing billions of dollars worth of domestic and international contracts, Sarah had persuaded him to join her at a pivotal point in the life of Southern Caramel. As a team, they continue to manage the growth of Southern Caramel and enjoy serving all the customers, vendors, and individuals that they are privileged to work with on a daily basis.

Y’all come back now!!

Sweetest Wishes,
Sarah and Jimi
Friends Make Life Sweeter gift card by Southern Caramel
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