Archive for November, 2011

Back in August 2009, Candy.com crowned 8-year-old Miles Louison “Candy Kid” for his work launching a “candy sushi” company. As part of the Candy Kid award, Miles won $500 worth of candy from Candy.com to help catapult his business.

Fast forward to Dec. 2011, and the young rising star is still at the helm of his candy sushi business, which is now officially titled, Sushimee. He also just came in first place at the entrepreneurial contest Startup Weekend Denver. Miles is youngest person in the history of this contest to enter it, and, hands down, the youngest to win it.

The afternoon that I caught up with Miles and his mom Lynnea Louison, Miles was fresh from school … and his second live television interview with 9News in Denver to talk about his win and where his Sushimee empire is headed.

“I had pools of sweat in my hands during the interview,” Miles told me when I asked him about his 9News appearance.

Watching the segment, you’d never know it. Miles is not camera-shy, which came in handy for pitching his candy sushi product in front of judges at the Startup Weekend Denver competition.

Miles’ candy sushi product line is made with Rice Krispie treats (the “rice”), fruit leathers, and vibrant candies like Swedish Fish, Twizzlers, and gummy worms. The candies come packaged in a sushi-esque box containing six pieces, dipping sauce (melted chocolate), wasabi (green icing), and pickled ginger (dried mango slices).

At Miles’ new Web site, Sushimee.com, each piece of candy sushi has a story. Lynnea says that as soon as the site went live, 71 orders came flooding in. “We had to shut down the e-commerce component,” she explains. “We are hoping to have it live again by early December.”

So what’s next for the now 10-year-old Candy Kid? Miles and his mom are working with a local commissary kitchen to grow the business and, according to Miles, Sushimee already has a handful of commercial accounts lined up.

Miles is also working closely with his mentor Linda Enstrom of Denver-based Enstrom Candy.

At the rate Miles is going, I think he’ll have a business book deal or spot on “The Apprentice” by 7th grade. Way to go Candy Kid!

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Do you know a child who is doing great things in the confectionery or culinary world? Let us know! We’re on the lookout for special kids who deserve to be recognized as a Candy Kid.  To nominate someone, send a short video (three minutes or less), or send an e-mail telling us about the great things your Candy Kid is up to. Send all nominations to sue@candy.com.

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in Candy, Contests, Trends

Let’s be honest. There are some dud stocking stuffers. Finding a toothbrush poking out the top of your stocking or an orange bulging at the bottom does beg the question, “What was Santa thinking?”

To avoid an epic fail or, at the very least, a tiny teardrop on Christmas morning, here are five stocking stuffers with two important things in common:

• They are top sellers on Candy.com (a.k.a. proven winners)

• There’s something about each item that makes it special

You be the judge, though. Don’t take my word for it.

1. Sévigny’s Peppermint Ribbon Candy
What makes it special? This paper thin peppermint ribbon candy is made in Brockton, Mass., by the family-owned candy company, F.B. Washburn. It’s truly a rare gem that won’t break the bank! Each 4 oz. box is $2.95.


2. Zotz Strings
What makes this special? Zotz are 100% nostalgic fun. Imported from Italy, these hard candies have been around since 1968. (The “I Dream of Jeanie,” “Gilligan’s Island,” and “Addams Family” era.) The “fun” part comes from the candy’s surprise sour fizzy centers and getting a whole string of them. Zotz Strings are available in six fruit flavors, including apple, cherry, watermelon, lemon, grape, and orange.

3.  Mini Hot Tamales and Mike and Ike Gum Dispensers
What makes this special?
These 9.5-inch plastic bubbles dispense gum that’s shaped and flavored to match classic Hot Tamales and Mike and Ike candies. Put one of these on your desk and watch your office turn into Grand Central Station.

4. Baileys Chocolate Tube
What makes this special?
Baileys Irish Cream + Turin Chocolate + Alcohol-Free = Holiday Cheer For Everyone.  Plus, the 7-ounce chocolate-filled tubes fit perfectly in the neck of a stocking.


5. Candy.com Gift Cards
What makes this special?
It’s a convenient e-card that you simply print and drop in a stocking—and you can buy one for as little as $5. It also introduces friends and family to their own private Candy Land, which is way more fun than Walmart or Target. The best part? You don’t need to leave your house to get this sweet gift. ?

p.s. – If none of these ideas grab you, take a look at Candy.com’s Holiday Sweet Deals. Most of these Web Busters can be squeezed into a stocking. Last holiday tip: Take 10% off your entire Candy.com order today (Cyber Monday!) with webcode cyber10.

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Nancy Pfeifer, party planner and owner of the etsy party supplies shop A to Zebra Celebrations, had a light-bulb moment after several customers inquired about where they could sell their used party supplies as well as buy the A to Zebra supplies that Nancy handcrafts and uses for her own parties.

That aha moment came this past spring, and on September 1, 2011, MyPartyIsOver.com was born.

I caught up with Nancy to see how her brilliant new e-baby is faring and what has transpired since her official launch. Read on …

Candy.com: In a nutshell, what is MyPartyIsOver.com?

Nancy: It’s a marketplace for customers to buy and sell new and used party decorations, props, etc.

Candy.com: What motivated you to launch MyPartyIsOver.com?

Nancy: I opened my A to Zebra Celebrations etsy shop back in October 2009. All of my items are handmade and designed by me.  My customers constantly ask if I can sell whatever I used on my daughters’ parties.  Some people have also inquired about where to sell their leftover party decorations after their party is over.  I researched for a place to do this, but found nothing.  I found a few wedding resale sites, but nothing for all parties.

Candy.com: What’s been your biggest surprise so far since launching MyPartyIsOver.com?

Nancy: The traffic to the site in addition to how quickly things have sold.  The site launched on September 1, 2011, and became popular right away. The Facebook page reached 1,000 fans in the first month. I have had over 30 countries visit the site in the last four weeks. The feedback from fans has been extremely positive. I am pleased how well things are going.

Candy.com In addition to used party products, will you accept new, overstock items?

Nancy: Anybody can sell new or used products as long as they are party-related.

Candy.com: Are there any party items you won’t list on your site (i.e. perishables)?

Nancy: No damaged or stained items.  No pornographic materials.  Candy and related party food items are permissible.

Candy.com: I understand that your registration is free, but there is a small fee to place a listing. How much is it?

Nancy: The listing fee is $0.75 cents per item, per month. No percentage taken from a sale. Upgrading a listing to the homepage is $0.95 cents per item, per month.

Candy.com: What are your pricing guidelines?

Nancy: My suggestion is to sell your items on the low end if you really want them out of your closet. People that visit my site want to shop a great bargain. If you over-price your items, they will not sell. You must also consider the shipping costs and how this can be a turn off to the buyer.

My rule of thumb is …

New items: 25-30% off the retail price
Used items: 50-60% off the retail price

Candy.com: What are the benefits of using your site vs. ebay or Craigslist to list gently used products?

Nancy: One of the benefits to use my website is that I don’t charge a percentage of sales like ebay does. Another advantage is that I am getting thousands of visitors every day. My visitors are strictly looking for party items, so you have a better chance at selling them quick.  Craigslist is free and popular for selling household items, but not party-related items.

Candy.com: So far, what type or category of items seem to be selling best?

Nancy: Party banners are selling the most in addition to party decor such as centerpieces, candle holders, vases, favors, etc.

Candy.com: Has it been difficult finding party throwers to list their used products?

Nancy: Yes, it has been difficult. Social media and marketing like Facebook and Twitter are very helpful, but they are a full-time job. I am trying to manage this website and my A to Zebra Celebrations shop while also doing my own marketing. These things are in addition to being a housewife and stay-at-home mother of two beautiful girls. It’s a challenge.

Candy.com: Your site is so well organized and easy to use! How long did it take from start to finish to get it launched?

Nancy: My idea to create this website was back in April. I knew I wanted something trendy, fun, and easy to navigate. I did my research and hired someone to start creating the site in May. I wanted the launch date to be September 1, 2011, so we made it happen in six months. There are still some changes and improvements I hope to get done in 2012. However, I will be offering advertising spots in the next couple of weeks.

Congrats Nancy! For more information, visit:

MyPartyIsOver.com
Facebook/MyPartyIsOver
Twitter/MyPartyIsOver

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in Business, Candy, Candy Buffets, News, Trends

Build your best Gingerbread House ever … and don’t be shy with the candy decorations! Candy.com and MyCandyCrafts.com are sponsoring a 2011 Gingerbread House Competition …

The competition is open to bakers of all ages and skill levels, and the winning baker/builder will receive a $75 Gift Certificate to Candy.com or MyCandyCrafts.com. Winner’s choice!

To enter, just go to https://www.candy.com/Gingerbread-House-2011-Contest_ep_94-1.html and follow instructions to submit your original photographs of your gingerbread house, along with a brief (300 words or less) description of your project. There is no limit to the number of entries per person, but each entry must be a different gingerbread house. (Gingerbread “houses” can also be other structures such as a windmill, boat, candy shop, etc.)

The deadline to receive photos and project descriptions is December 15, 2011, so fire up your rolling pin and get cracking!

Winners will be announced on Dec. 20, 2011, and will be unveiled in a blog post, right here, so keep your eyes peeled. Thank you in advance to all who participate! We’re looking forward to seeing and sharing your great work!

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in Candy, Christmas, Contests, Holidays