This Hamilton Woman's $25 Candy Bars Are Causing All Kinds Of Ruckus On TikTok
They look so amazing some people think they're soap.
The DSRT Co, which features intricate and dessert-stuffed bars, currently has over 200,000 followers and over 4 million likes on TikTok. However, you'll find people ranting about their costs in the comments.
@dsrtco 99.9% of interactions have been amazing and I love you all but I do hope to retire by 34. #ReadyForHell#smallbusiness#joke#help#anxiety#dessert#notsoap♬ original sound - The DSRT Co
"Because products like this are often all appearance no taste, I can already tell how bland that must be & you probably still charge £20 😂," wrote a TikToker user.
"Just went to order then realized shipping was 30 😢, totally not your fault I understand how much it costs to ship things!" said another TikToker on a different video.
But, Summer Badawi, the owner of The DSRT Co, told Narcity that the bars take hours to make. They involve "crying a lot," she jokes.
She says she wants to "do things differently" with chocolate and change how people think of dessert.
The 33-year-old says she doctors chocolate molds, adding her own flair to the look of her candy. She carefully melts, and tempers coloured cocoa butter, then airbrushes the molds.
The fuss people are making is "mostly focused around the prices," says Badawi. Her TikTok following grew by 80,000 in the last month, and with that comes more angry messages, she adds.
The Hamilton resident says she's also received aggressive messages directed at herself and her business.
"You know, you're you're always gonna have someone that you're upsetting on the internet," the baker says. "It's impossible not to do that."
Badawi says that she pays all seven of her employees a living wage and cares a lot about them.
Putting Hamilton on the map
@dsrtco I eventually reformulated the one he made into the KEITH bar 🥰🍫🖤 #chocolaterecipe#dessert#dsrtbar#candy#sweetshop#chocolate#foodtiktok♬ original sound - The DSRT Co
"There's a lot of people doing really cool things here," says Badawi, a resident of Hamilton. But, since she's seen an international audience on TikTok, people are often surprised she's from a Canadian city.
Only people in the U.S.do cool things, right? Not!
What's the most popular DSRT Co bar, you ask? Well, it's The Afternoon T dessert bar, which is a lemon meringue pie bar with shortbread, raspberry preserves, and a white chocolate shell.
The Keith bar has also received a lot of attention, which is the first bar Badawi ever made. The Hamilton baker and her fiancé came up with the idea for the couple to compete for the best ingredient combination.
They let the internet decide the winner.
"Of course, like, immediately, the one that he came up with did really well," she says.
Initially, it was a pairing of hazelnut spread, toasted hazelnuts, marshmallow fluff and dark chocolate ganache. The Keith 2.0 has espresso ganache, walnut brownie ganache, and a layer of salted caramel.
A COVID-19 business
The 33-year-old baker started her business while working at her dad's medical office during the pandemic.
"I basically would take one day off from the office and make chocolate bars the whole day," she says. "And then once I got on TikTok, and there's more exposure, I realized that chocolate could actually be the whole business."
Now she has around 20 chocolate bars in rotation at any given time. She wants to include flavours from all cultures, she adds. For example, the DSRT Co offers one bar with Mexican chilli and gummies, while a Filipino dessert inspires another with ube and coconut.
The Hamilton business has shipped as far as Australia and is seeing high demand in the U.K.
As for the internet haters? "Bring it on," says Badawi. "It's fine. I have to be willing—I have to understand that that's part of this, so I'm adapting."
And don't worry, the 33-year-old baker assures everyone that, despite how they look, the eye-catching treats are definitely not soap!