It all started in 2007 when Christen and Vincent Kugener met Daniel Palix, one of the best French caramel makers. M. Palix, nearing retirement, wanted to pass on his proprietary recipes to the next generation of entrepreneurs who would carefully continue his legacy. As luck would have it, the newly married duo were invitied to travel around France for a year with M. Palix learning how to manufacture and sell traditional French caramel.
Having enjoyed many summers in sunny southern California with her family, Christen and Vincent moved to the U.S in 2008 where they set up a caramel factory in east county San Diego.
Now incredibly happy to call America's Finest City their home, they have grown from a one product business-authentic French sea salt caramel candies-to a large manufacturing boutique with award-winning products.

Caring About Our Community Affiliations

The Autism Tree Project Foundation helps families impacted by autism and provides free screenings to as many children as possible in the San Diego area. Proceeds on the purchase of Autism Sea Salt Caramel candy bags supports this great cause.

Partners with Industry creates employment for people who experience workforce barriers.

San Diego Unified School District


Meet Le Caramel

Le Caramel product labels are painted by French artist Sue Bernabe.
She is an adoring mother of four incredible women, including our very own Christen, the sweetest grandmother to her many grandchildren and a devoted wife to the love of her life.
When she is not creating beautiful designs to adorn Le Caramel's product labels, gift boxes, merch and more, she spends her retirement painting and remodeling her home in France, visiting her loved ones and making the day brighter for anyone she encounters.


At its inception, Le Caramel was a novel, small SoCal business operating with one product—traditional French sea salt caramel cream.

Husband and wife team, Vincent and Christen Kugener, brought their awarding-winning caramel recipe to San Diego from France. They spent a year of studying, training and manufacturing caramel under the renowned caramel-maker, Daniel Palix.

Over a decade later, they manufacture 18 different products in seven different delicious flavors. They employ a full-time candymaker and full-time cook as well as a handful of dedicated part-time staff and seasonal employees. In 2018, they purchased local gift company, The Basket Corner.

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