Great treats to accompany an even greater cause: just the sort of thing that makes my heart giddy with joy. Taste of Heaven started in January of 1999 when Richland Bible Church passed around small donations in envelopes to the members of the congregation. The mission behind this was for everyone to take that little amount of money and turn it into a bigger donation however they wanted. Peg Throop discovered that she had $10 in her envelope. With that $10, she made caramel corn and combined it with drizzled chocolate. Throop sold this caramel corn to friends, returning $800 to the church.
After this occurrence, Throop and the congregation prayed heartily about what to do next. Those prayers led to the beginning and the opening of Taste of Heaven. In 2005, Taste of Heaven was purchased by Youth for Christ, and all the proceeds benefit the Kalamazoo chapter and other chapters worldwide. In 2013, Taste of Heaven was able to give $50,000 to Youth for Christ.
Lynn Russcher started as a volunteer for Youth for Christ. She transitioned to Taste of Heaven because of her extensive background in food and marketing. Russcher gushes about the wonderful volunteers she gets to work with on a daily basis, stating that in 2013, Taste of Heaven had 175 volunteers that put in 7500 hours of donated time and work. These volunteers help to make the popcorn and other treats, work in the retail area, and aid in mentoring the students. Taste of Heaven specifically mentors students within the 14-19 age range. Through their time at Taste of Heaven, these students build self-confidence, enjoy job training, and gain employment skills.
Not only does Taste of Heaven make various popcorns, including Michigan Cherry Drizzled Caramel Corn, but many many others treats are created here as well. Caramel crispy cookies, rice crispy treat cake, bark, and dipped pretzels are just a few of their other specialty items. Get ready for the best part; taste testers are always welcome to stop in and sample the products. Personally, I have daydreams about sprinting to Kalamazoo and trying all of the sweets.
Interested in volunteering with Taste of Heaven? You’re in luck! They are always looking for detail oriented individuals who love working in a customer service based environment. There are also fundraising opportunities, which allows groups to keep 50% of the profits sold.
If creativity runs deep in your blood, scoot over to Taste of Heaven’s Facebook page and post your own recipe! They love trying out new things and love to hear from their customers and fans. If you are ever in the Kalamazoo area, be sure to stop by, say hello, and purchase a delicious product that benefits a great cause.