Taste Connoisseur

The Woman Behind the Hedgehog

As Allison Spadone tells it, Aunt Tatty’s Beautiful Butterscotch in Warren was basically her mother’s idea


Allison Spadone did not wake up one day with an idea for a butterscotch company. Rather, she inherited the recipe and idea from her mother. Her mother also created the adorable hedgehog mascot; she used to pass the image out to her children’s elementary school teachers and send it as gifts. While most of the family may not be involved in the business’ daily operations, love and community are at the heart of Aunt Tatty’s Beautiful Butterscotch, a small-batch dessert company based in Warren. Spadone’s admiration for her mother remains at the center of this Hope & Main success story, and now her son’s teachers look forward to the same gift at the holidays.

Tell me a little about the start of Aunt Tatty’s.
I have a 10-year-old son, and we moved to Providence about five years ago, and I was trying to decide whether to go back to work or start my own business. My husband said, “You’d be a good interview and a terrible hire, you should start your own business.” So, I wondered what that might be. Well, my mother had always made this butterscotch, which we passed out to teachers at Christmas and that sort of thing, and I thought that I might make her hobby into my full-time job.

Aunt Tatty’s sounds like a true family business.
It was my mom’s idea, and there was even a point when she would dress as Aunt Tatty, the hedgehog, and distribute jars. It was already so great, I just took her idea and made it bigger. My son was my taste tester, when I got the recipe from her, it wasn’t very scientific, so it took a lot of tries to get it right. Finally, I got her, with my son’s help, to spend the afternoon making butterscotch – and this time, carefully measuring out the ingredients to get the recipe perfect. That’s the original Aunt Tatty’s Beautiful Butterscotch.

What’s next for Aunt Tatty?
There is the Original Beautiful Butterscotch, but my mom has wanted to make a chocolate sauce as well, so we are trying that. In the future, look out for Aunt Tatty’s Silver Crescent Chocolate Sauce.

If Aunt Tatty could share one message, what do you think that is?
A friend of ours is a cardiologist and asked me what I did for a living, and I said, “Well, I’m trying to start this business and you probably wouldn’t approve because it’s butterscotch.” He said, “On the contrary, the worst thing for your heart is stress, and I encourage all of my patients to enjoy life.” The true element of Aunt Tatty is that, in this day and age, when there is a trend against sugar and everyone wants healthful products, Aunt Tatty is not that. Aunt Tatty is very much about joy and parties and sharing with other people.

Aunt Tatty’s Beautiful Butterscotch