By David Cohen / email@example.com
The demand for organic and health-conscious products has steadily risen in the United States the past 15 years. One man has answered this demand for more responsible products with a classic treat: cotton candy.
David Karsh, the CEO of Cotton Cravings, is the creator of the first kosher, organic, gluten-free and allergen-free cotton candy. Since 2012, Karsh and his wife, Dr. Mary-Sydney Karsh, have built Cotton Cravings into a socially and environmentally responsible company focused on the fun of one of the oldest sugary concoctions around.
“We’ve taken a treat that everybody knows, and we’ve completely reinvented it,” Karsh said. “We only use organic sugar, natural flavors and natural colors. One of the things my wife educated me about a number of years ago is that artificial colors can lead to real medical ailments. Our commitment when we started was that we would never sell anything that we wouldn’t serve our kids.”
Cotton Cravings is part of the growing segment of the gourmet food market that consists of food trucks, farm-to-table restaurants and organic supermarkets. Each provides higher-quality food choices for health-conscious Americans who want to know where their food comes from.
In short, we’ve come a long way from frozen TV dinners.
With Cotton Cravings, Karsh has taken traditional cotton candy and added more than 20 all-natural flavors, such as Apple Pie, Mango Mania, Key Lime Cloud and Rockin’ Rootbeer. All flavors are certified kosher by the Atlanta Kashruth Commission.
The company caters to b’nai mitzvah and other special events where the confection is spun on the spot for guests, including several upcoming Purim carnivals. Packaged cotton candy is available in four-packs and flavor duos for $24.99 at www.cottoncravings.com.
Karsh said Cotton Cravings’ costs are somewhat higher than conventional cotton candy, which he dismissed as “nothing more than table sugar and artificial food coloring.”
If you want to get into the spinning action, the company’s website also sells the supplies to make your own at home.
Karsh and co-owner Barry Herman, who are both members of Congregation Ariel in Dunwoody, have jumped into wholesaling their product to retailers. One of the first businesses to sell Cotton Cravings is the downtown Judaica shop ModernTribe. Owner Jennie Rivlin Roberts said customers have been eating up the sweet treat.
“ModernTribe and our customers love Cotton Cravings,” Rivlin Roberts said. “Cotton candy is a best seller in our shop with so many wonderful flavors. The fact that it’s kosher, organic and all-natural is a big selling point.”
A 1999 graduate of the University of Miami, Karsh worked in media and communications before launching Cotton Cravings. He made stops at Fox News Radio in Miami and Burger King, where he was director of global communications. Dissatisfied with conventional candy’s ingredients, Karsh and his wife, a pediatrician, set out to create a healthier alternative for their three sons using organic cane juice and all-natural flavors and colors. Soon after, he created the company.
One serving of Cotton Cravings has about 60 calories.
Karsh said the company is aiming to scale up to national distribution as soon as possible. You also might see the products at concession stands before long.
“There’s a strong opportunity in professional sporting events,” Karsh said. “If you’ve gone to a sporting event recently, it’s not just regular food like hot dogs and nachos anymore. There’s more of a gourmet push, and fans want an overall experience. Food is a part of that experience. One area that’s been left out of this gourmet push is the cotton candy.”