Archive for the ‘Dark Chocolate’ Category

Candy lovers are a passionate bunch. We’re big on learning about candy and the stories behind the brands. We love to talk about the sweet stuff, consume it, and share it. (Heck, if that weren’t true, Candy.com wouldn’t have 55,000+ Facebook Fans.)

So, periodically in this blog, I’m going to put a spotlight on a select candy manufacturer to give you the who behind some of your favorite brands as well as brands you might not know about … yet.

The first who in my “Meet the Candy Makers” series is the Kimmie Candy Company.

This candy maker fascinates me for a handful of reasons:

- It’s only 10 years old, which is young for the majorly mature candy industry.

- Kimmie Candy’s founder, Joe Dutra, is an international agronomist who grew up in a farming family in California. At one point in his own farming career, Joe farmed for a prince in Saudi Arabia.

- Kimmie Candy is one of a few US companies to manufacture overseas and then move all operations to US soil. Kimmie Candy products were manufactured in Korea until 2008 when Joe opened headquarters in Reno, Nevada.

- The company is named after a family friend who offhandedly said the company should be named after her. And so it was.

You may be wondering how this US candy company got its start in Korea. It was actually a bit of a fluke. One of Joe Dutra’s employees at the time told him about a container full of chocolate-covered sunflower kernels from Korea that was left at a San Francisco dock. Looking to diversify, Joe purchased the container.

That container led to more. Joe was sending U.S. sunflower seeds to Korea for candy coating, which were then shipped back to California for packaging.

Then, Sept. 11 hit, which was a major turning point for the candy company. “I became patriotic,” says Joe. “I was living in a community, but I wasn’t bringing anything back to it.”

After several business hiccups, including a lawsuit from Mars, Joe convinced his Korean panner (a confectioner who applies a candy shell to candy and nuts) to move to America and purchase equipment for US production in Reno, Nevada.

With all operations now in Reno, Joe says he’s expecting 30% to 40% growth by year end.

“We really are living the American Dream,” says Joe, who has welcomed his own two grown children into the Kimmie Candy Company. “It’s a pleasure to come to work everyday.”

The Goods
Kimmie Candy’s line of panned candy products includes three brands: Choco Rocks, Sunbursts, and Kettle Corn Nuggets, as well as  Jordan almonds. (Click on each image below for detailed product information.)

According to Mark Bedingfield, Kimmie Candy’s sales director, the Choco Rocks are currently the company’s best seller. Mark says the gold, silver, and bronze Choco Rocks Boulders and Choco Rocks Nuggets are getting quite a bit of attention from candy retailers and party planners.

It’s easy to see why. The large chunks of composite milk and dark chocolate coated in edible metallic glitters are pure eye candy in glass containers.

Gold Choco Boulders

Kimmie’s candy-coated sunflower kernels, Sunbursts, have also caught the eye of party planners, retailers, and bakers because they’re available in 18 solo colors plus an all-natural mix and several holiday mixes. The glossy Sunbursts’ little seed shape lends itself to cake and cupcake decorating and mixing with other panned candies like Kimmie’s Kettle Corn Nuggets and Jordan Almonds.

Sunbursts Natural Mix

The Kettle Corn Nuggets (roasted corn nuggets coated in milk chocolate with a colorful candy shell) is the newest product in Kimmie’s lineup, and, like all Kimmie products, is available in holiday colors and mixes.

Kettle Corn Nuggets Christmas Mix

Sunbursts Hanukkah Mix

Choco Rocks Black Coal

Red Jordan Almonds

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There is a good chance that you need to send a birthday gift to a friend this month or next. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, more people in the United States have their birthdays in August than any other month, followed by July and September.

There is also a good chance that you need to send a birthday gift to a friend on October 5, which is the most popular birth date in the United States. (Rumor has it that New Year’s Eve is the conception date for those kids.)

While I’m on a roll, there is also a good chance that you need to send a birthday gift to a friend next Tuesday since Tuesday is the most popular day of the week for Americans to be born.

Ok, enough with the stats. You need gift ideas!

- Check out the More than a Pound Cake Candy Bouquet. It’s Candy.com’s top-selling candy bouquet and it’s 16-plus ounces of cool.

- The Blow Out The Candles Candy Gift Basket has an option to add a personalized wrapper to the Cookies & Crème bar for an extra $1. Cheap and clever!

- Take your friends and family members down memory lane with the Blast From the Past Candy Gift Basket filled with full-size Mr. Goodbar and Zero bars, Sugar Babies, Dots, Bit-O-Honey, Twizzlers, Pixy Stix, candy buttons, and more.

- Make your birthday cards really memorable (and edible) by including a snack-sized bag of Jelly Belly Happy Birthday Jelly Beans or hand out these little bags of beans at your own birthday party.

Now back to mindless birthday stats … I just found out that I am 1,364,552,283 seconds old, I could have boiled 5.05 ounces of water with the number of candles on my 2010 cake, and that I was conceived on a Monday and born on a Monday. TMI? Definitely, but plug in your birth date at PaulSadowski.com/birthday.asp and you’ll get TMI, too.

Planning a birthday party? Create a candy buffet at 10% off! Use Coupon Code buffet 10 at Candy.com. Hurry offer ends August 15.

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If you want to know what cool, new candy will be hitting your store shelves next, a good indicator is the top 10 candies scanned by major retail buyers at the National Confectioners Association’s Sweets & Snacks Expo.

The annual expo is the grande dame of North American candy shows and a big launching pad for manufacturers.

Take a peek at what’s in (or about to be in) store …

10. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Minis by The Hershey Company
9. Jelly Pop by Decoria Company, Ltd.
8. Jumbo Push Pop by Bazooka Candy Brands
7. Pop Rocks Chocolate by Pop Rocks Inc.
6. Dark Chocolate Acai Blueberry and Goji by Brookside Food Ltd.
5. Snow White Gift set from Pez Candy, Inc.
4. Disney licensed items by Imaginings 3, Inc.
3. M&M’s Pretzel by MARS Chocolate North America
2. ICEE Fizzing Lollipops by Koko’s Confectionery & Novelty
1. Cocktail Classics jelly beans by Jelly Belly Candy Company

If you’ve tried any of these newbies, spill your thoughts, please.

Photo by Jose Ole

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15 Jan

Play it Cool. Real Cool. 0

York Peppermint Patties dropped quietly out of Henry C. Kessler’s Cone Factory in York Pennsylvania in 1940 and soon began the often thankless but truly essential work of soberly refreshing breath one frosty bite at a time.

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Granted, there were other mint chocolates on the market, but York boasted an attribute that soon saw it snapping the top spot on the peppermint pyramid. Where contenders melted, gooed, and crumbled, York Peppermint Patties hung tough and together, hardly ever succumbing to the soupifying effects of sun, pockets, or pleather automobile interiors. Though I love and respect the likes of Junior Mints, we all know they have a tendency to turn to putty in our hands. Not so with The Patty, whose bite is always clean and whose cleave is always crisp (unless you sit on it. But c’mon, that’s your fault).

peppermintpatty

Though admirable, the Patty’s constitution alone isn’t enough to make it a great confection. Fortunately, it also offers a refreshingly mature and balanced combination of flavors. The chocolate shell is dark, bitter and complex with just enough earthy, coffee hints to provide a perfect foil to the bright, sweet, peppermint crème that fills out the bulk of each patty. With the unique soft, yet snappy texture, York Peppermint Patties are a remarkably refined example of candy construction, available all across the globe and of course, for your convenience at Candy.com.

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in Candy, Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Reviews