Siskiyou chef creates crystal candies that make you look twice
Lake Shastina’s Cyndi Colvin makes one-of-a-kind candies that will make you do a double-take. She sells her gemstone crystal candies – which could easily be mistaken for actual rocks and gems – at the Lake Shastina Farmers’ Market every Tuesday from 5 to 6 p.m.
The inspiration for her candies came from a dream and a desire to reinvent her career. “I asked for a sign ... when I woke up, I knew exactly what I was going to do,” she said. “I was going to make candy. And it’s something I hadn’t done since I was 11, in the sixth grade.”
Colvin describes the crafting of her colorful amethyst and tourmaline crystals, chocolate geodes and candied gem boxes as “my art. My gift.”
In addition to her unique candies, Colvin also creates grab-and-go style boxed dinners as owner of Cyndarella’s Kitchen, which she started in March of 2019.
Colvin said her whole life has revolved around creating foods. “I dream of cooking. I dream recipes – I have since I was a kid.”
Colvin’s themed, exotic and healthy dinner entrees are sold at the Lake Shastina Farmers’ Market, as well as at a drive through at the Weed Community Center’s kitchen on Tuesdays. She also makes deliveries to Lake Shastina for seniors, which make up the majority of her customers.
“We go somewhere different in the world every week,” Colvin said of her dinner entrees. “I pick a different nationality and this week, because it is hot, the theme is ‘stay cool with Thai inspired meals,’” she said. “Next week is Cuba.”
Her Thai offerings included Chef Lou’s sticky asian chicken, Thai noodle salad, Thai cucumber salad, Thai style spinach quinoa salad, Thai style kale salad, pineapple cake, sweet chili, soy sauce marinated chicken, Thai spiced beef, wild salmon and Thai prawns. Each of these dishes are flavorful with a variety of colorful ingredients using all of the different food groups, she said.
Entrees are $5 to $10, and Colvin caters to special diets. People are able to order only what they want, since everything is a la carte and packed to go.
On Wednesdays, she emails her clientele with the following week’s menu. Everything is pre ordered and paid online.
Colvin studied health and nutrition in college and has been a caterer for more than 40 years; She used to cater for studios in Southern California.
“In the 80s, I was a private chef for Dudley Moore in Marina Del Rey. I was cooking for the elementary schools before COVID. But I am happiest doing this,” she said.
Colvin was the owner of Avalon Square Heart Rock Cafe in Mount Shasta for 11 years, located where Yak’s Smokehouse is being established today on Mt. Shasta Boulevard. As a natural foods/bakery café, Colvin offered “grab and go” food before Berryville made it popular in the Mount Shasta community.
Although she’s been a chef her entire life, making crystal candies is a new endeavor.
When asked how she creates candy that looks so eerily authentic, she laughs and says, "it's magic."
Then she gets serious. A rock hound, Colvin has a big collection of crystals, and to make candies that look like authentic rocks, she casts molds from these crystals and fills them with hard candy.
In addition to her hard candies, Colvin also uses chocolate for her bon-bon style gemstone candies.
“The joy I see on people’s faces is what’s so special,” she said. “I have people that insist, ‘that’s tourmaline.’ I tell them, no – it’s candy!”
Cyndarella’s Kitchen Gemstone Crystal Candy can be found on Facebook.
Email her at email@example.com.