Le Caramel's History

It all started 10 years ago, when Christen and Vincent Kugener met Daniel
Palix, one of the best caramel makers in France. M. Palix, nearing retirement, wanted to pass on his traditional recipes to the next generation of caramel makers who would carry his legacy into the future. Lucky enough to be these people, Christen and Vincent traveled around France with Palix for a year to learn how to make traditional sea salt caramel. 
 


They decided to move to the U.S. in 2008 where they set up a caramel factory in east county San Diego. Christen's family is from San Diego and she had spent many summers in sunny So Cal. Moving their family to that spot was an easy choice for them. Now, they are proud to call San Diego their home : Vincent recently became a American himself.



In 2009, Le Caramel was born with only one product : the sea salt caramel cream, still a best seller today. This launched their wholesale business, selling their caramel cream and  quickly their caramels all around the United States.

In 2011, as the business began to grow, they hired their first full-time employee and started making flavored caramel candies.


In 2013, Le Caramel began its partnership with the Autism Tree Project Foundation
(ATPF), an organization focused on assisting families impacted by autism. The
foundation’s main goal is to provide free autism screenings for as many children as
possible in the San Diego Area. By purchasing one of Le Caramel’s candies from their
Autism Sea Salt Caramel collection, you help make a difference in these children’s
lives as Le Caramel donates 40% of the proceed to ATPF.



By 2014, the small business had grown considerably, prompting the Kugeners to relocate
to a larger facility, moving from Santee, CA, to El Cajon, CA. In 2015, the happy
Caramel family expanded. They began hiring employees through Partnership with Industry (PWI), an
organization that gives employment opportunities for people with disabilities.


In 2016, as customers started to come to the factory and ask if they could purchase their
products for individual use, the Kugeners decided to open a little boutique in the front hall
and start a retail business.



In 2017, Le Caramel moved to a new factory with a bigger and brighter boutique located at 1181 Pioneer way, El Cajon, CA 92020. The team counts now: 
  • The owners and managers, Christen & Vincent Kugener
  • Our cook, Ana
  • Our candyman, Chris
  • Our accountant and sales manager, Noor
  • The PWI Team, Garrett, Ryan, Laura and their coach Marissa
  • 2 French interns, Lucas and Deborah who are currently in charge of quality control and marketing.