Austin Sugarworks

American Made Since 2011

Elayne Crain

Nashville, Tennessee
Our hand-molded, French-style artisanal sugars make sugar cubes look outdated and square. Sweeten your day with cafe sugars!

Tell us about your business.

I have always had an abiding love of sweets. When my husband bought me the most exquisite, hand-molded sugars from France, they immediately captured my imagination and put all other sugars to shame. Why, oh why, didn’t we have something like this in the States? I knew at once I was the woman to bring the sugar revolution across the pond. My brain began to whir as I had my big idea moment. What if I could create a shaped sugar product made with only all-natural ingredients—and even flavoring? You could customize your drink sweetening as much as you customize the rest of your drink! I was absolutely giddy with the possibilities. Imagine a delicately sculpted sugar rose that tastes of vanilla, or a ginger-infused lion’s head. Imagine serving your wedding guests custom sugars in the shape of your new monogram. I hand-mold our sugars from the finest (only all-natural) ingredients in small batches so they perfectly sweeten all occasions, big and small.

What makes your business stand out?

Our products are a happy marriage of form and function; they are delightful to look at and made of superfine sugar, which dissolves incredibly quickly in drinks--much quicker than the traditional granulated packets. Because people have discomfort with their current sweeteners, the category is ripe for change. In short, Austin Sugarworks aims to inspire sweetness – one person, and one cup, at a time. Like most non-heiress-founded startups, I needed to bootstrap--a challenge in any business, but especially in a new product category. Not only did I need to create the product, but I also had to create the pathways to the market(s). We are pleased to say that you will find our handmade sugars in a major retailer this holiday season!

What's the best business advice you've received?

"You can do anything you set your mind to." - Dad and Mom When I got my idea, I had never done sugarcraft (or had even heard of it!), so I read everything I could about sugar and cube production and tried countless prototypes in my home kitchen. After much trial and error (and some hilariously deformed results, which I still have for posterity), I finally hit upon the basic process. However, I still had many important decisions to make. What shapes and flavors should I first offer? How would I scale production? How should I price them? Who would spoon feed me my dinner when I had officially lost my mind? My previously-dormant MBA degree kicked in and I put together focus groups, inviting people to meet me at a high-end grocery store with the promise of a free beverage and a $10 gift card for their time. I noted what they ordered and how they sweetened it, and then we talked through their daily beverage rituals. This input proved invaluable in creating our sugars.

Comments (0)


Mark Your Calendar

    Oct. 17, 2014

    2014 Award Winner and Audience Choice Winner announced.

    See past Award Winners
    Nov. 7, 2014

    Join Martha at the American Made Summit kickoff cocktail party.

    Buy Tickets Now
    Nov. 8, 2014

    Don’t miss our networking event and maker lecture series in New York City.

    Buy Tickets Now
    Nov. 15 - 16, 2014

    Shop for holiday gifts at the Martha Stewart American Made Pavilion.

    Learn More

More Finalists

  • 2014 Audience Choice Winner
    Self taught metal artist opened up a gallery on bridge-less low country island 13+ years ago to specialize in handcrafting coastal sculptures.
    Crafts, Recycled, Upcycled, Vintage Crafts
  • 2014 Food Finalist


    Mitch Greenberg
    MitchMallows -- artisanal sweet and savory unique treats handmade in New York City -- the Golden Age of Marshmallows has officially begun.
    Food, Sweets & Baked Goods
  • 2014 Food Finalist

    Imperial Chorizo

    Ignacio Saez de Ibarra
    From the mountains of Extremadura to the foot of the Adirondacks, Imperial brings chorizo making in all its authenticity to the United States.
    Food, Agriculture & Sustainability
  • 2014 Food Finalist


    Daniel Dengrove & Rebecca Dengrove
    Grown up ice pops for the kid in all of us. Natural juices, health and wellness benefits & 50 calories or less! Lick Well, Live Well!
    Food, Sweets & Baked Goods