Soccer introduced them, and now they’re in a “sweet” business together, becoming known as “The Brittle Babes.”
Emily Hilgemann and Kyra Purvis both grew up in Washington State, and they met playing soccer at Central Washington University.
Emily Hilgemann’s family had been making brittle since the 1920’s, using a recipe passed down from her grandmother’s side of the family. It was a holiday tradition to give it to family and friends, and she also brought brittle to fellow soccer players after school vacations.
After college both women moved to San Diego. Emily pursued a career as a fitness coach, and she and her husband had a daughter. Kyra developed digital marketing strategies for companies, which involved a lot of travel.
“About 6 months after I had my first child, I had a pivotal moment,” Kyra relates. “I called my husband and told him I was quitting my job! I wanted a change of pace, a job that didn’t involve so much travel. I became a consultant, which gives me much more flexibility.”
“We’d talked about starting a brittle business 20 years ago,” Emily explains. “When we reconnected about it in June 2017, it was the right time for both of us. My family thinks it’s great. They still make the old family recipe, but Kyra and I have updated it to make it healthier.”
It’s Important to know that maintaining the integrity of what they’re making is a passion point for Emily and Kyra. Although brittle is a decadent treat, they are making it with the purest ingredients. They use organic sugar, and lots of nuts – the ratio of nuts to sugar is 2-to-1. Plus, since their product are plant-based, they are made without butter.
The business partners are also very proud of the fact that their company has grown organically. “The brittle is part of Emily’s childhood and her life,” Kyra says.” We honor those roots. We’re investing in this company at every level, bootstrapping it from our own resources. This means that instead of paying to get things done, we learn how to do them ourselves.”
Their business experience outside of Brittle has been valuable. Emily is a fitness coach at the La Costa Resort, and Kyra is a consultant with Sales Force. “We embrace the challenge of practicing the work-life balance that we advocate. Emily has done a great job finding stores to partner with that share our values. We are aware that our products have a natural consumer that is a fit.”
“Our melt-in-your-mouth, high-quality Brittle is vegan, includes twice as many nuts as organic sugar. We’re sure that it will meet any brittle-lover’s gourmet expectations.”