Brandon Love hungered for a Kansas City brand as unconventional as his own high-growth aroma confectionery, Crumble Co. He found his match at Betty Rae’s.
“I started trying to pick apart [potential partners] to see who would be the best fit,” said Love, Crumble Co.’s founder and “head fruit loop in charge.” “Our way’s really quirky –– Betty Rae’s is the quirkiest thing in the city that’s successful.”
An ice cream shop with locations in River Market and Waldo, Betty Rae’s already is responsible for such flavors as 2017’s Joe’s KC barbeque, which featured burnt ends and sauce from the iconic Kansas City restaurant.
Together, Crumble Co. and Betty Rae’s have crafted three complementary candle and ice cream scents/flavors, Love said.
Best-selling aroma Shark Attack, for example, takes on sinfully sweet edibility in the hands of David Friesen, owner of Betty Rae’s. Meanwhile, Crumble Co. developed Betty Rae’s customer favorite flavors –– s’mores and cereal milk –– into candles, he explained.
“I tested [Shark Attack] out just yesterday for the first time ever and it was phenomenal,” Love said Friday. “It tastes just like it smells and I’ve had a ton of customers go try it and they’re obsessed. I hope [Friesen] makes it a permanent flavor and I would totally sign off on that.”
Proceeds of the Crumble Co. and Betty Rae’s collaboration — combined ice cream and candle sales have amassed $1,000 so far — will be given to Operation Breakthrough to further benefit the non-profit education center’s efforts on Kansas City’s east side, Love said.
“I just worked with Troostapalooza and [Katie Mabry Van Dieren] who runs Strawberry Swing [craft fair] and that was a big, eye-opening event [Sept. 22] because I think me and my entire staff walked into it with ignorance, and we were not sure what to expect,” Love said of the festival that brought revelers and consumers together at the city’s historic racial dividing line.
It was one of his favorite experiences at a craft show or vendor fair, he said, ultimately solidifying his desire to give back to Operation Breakthrough, which teaches maker, STEM education, and other early skills at 31st and Troost.
“We were all kinds of shocked,” Love said, referencing the experience at Troostapalooza with his parents, who work with him at Crumble Co. “I saw my parents kind of lose some ignorance in that situation too, because they’re older, and to see their ignorance be challenged and then to accept that their pre-conceived way of thinking is not exactly true. It’s really nice to see.”
Realizing his scents now hold relevance as spin-off products, Love is open to new collaborations with other Kansas City brands that promote the Crumble Co. philosophy of supporting non-profits, he explained. Love previously has partnered with suicide prevention organizations, as well as Planned Parenthood, but the ice cream collaboration has been the only one to result in such cross-promotional products.
“This is hopefully the first of many — not just at Betty Rae’s but with different companies,” he said. “I’ve been in talks with Ruby Jean’s, I’ve been trying to hit up Shatto Milk … Donutology. I’m trying to get them to do some stuff with us that would be cool.”