Posts Tagged ‘Candy’

Hey candy connoisseurs! There’s a new TLC reality show on Monday nights at 9 p.m. cst./10 p.m. est. and it’s all about candy. For real.

The show, “Candy Queen,” stars Jackie Sorkin, founder of The Hollywood Candy Girls, and her entourage of candy stylists who frequently whip out power tools to create elaborate candy sculptures like giant trees made out of thousands of caramels and sour strips or a 6-foot spinning Alice in Wonderland teacup completely covered with candy.

The team truly is creating a new art form using candy as the medium. If you are passionate about candy, you’ll find it interesting to watch which candies are used to create the textures and colors needed for each sculpture.

Candy Queen on TLC Sculptures

Jackie, who became a mom for the second time last month (her new little boy is affectionately called “Lord Lollipop” and her 18-month old daughter has the title, “Heiress to the Candy Empire”) is already back working and filming more episodes. (Overachiever!)

She took time out to chat about what it’s like have a reality TV show, successful event planning business in Hollywood, and two tiny tots at home. Here’s the skinny:

Candy.com: How did you wind up with a reality TV series chronicling your candy adventures?

Jackie: Well … for one thing, I don’t really think to many completely “normal” people end up with their own reality shows. I think those who do often have an interesting story, a ton of passion, a quirky or bold personality, and perhaps just a little luck too. However, I usually never believe in luck! I think that having a combination of all of those things is what landed my team and I this super sweet gig on TLC!

Candy.com: How much prep time do you get before filming? Is it all really fly by the seat of your pants?

Jackie: No prep time, no fancy hair and make-up or umbrella holders, no scripts, no nothing. It’s Reality TV. We may have a couple of meetings to discuss our projects, how we’re planning on executing them, and who’s responsible for what, but that’s about it! It’s business as usual.

Candy.com: How do The Hollywood Candy Girls and your candy engineer Adam like being on camera?

Jackie: The crew has gotten used to it. You eventually get to the point where you just forget the cameras are there and we’ve got amazing producers and the best crew, so we all felt super comfortable. Like friends and family, actually. We have a ton of ridiculous fun with the entire crew! I always said, if this opportunity actually came to fruition, we had to be 100% who we are. I think phoniness  in people is so transparent and reads on or off camera. Being yourself works!

The Hollywood Candy Girls plus Adam (left photo). Jackie with her "mini-me" daughter Isabella, and super supportive husband, Chris.

Candy.com: What’s it like being a new mom, running your own business, and having it all filmed for the world to witness?

Jackie: INSANELY INSANE!! I don’t ever really think about anyone witnessing it because I just don’t have the time to think about it. I’m like every other mom out there, balancing work, family, a crazy business where most of what we do is booked last minute, and always rushed, too! Having two little ones under 2 years old is, um, a challenge, but I also love the fact that my kids will grow up so close in age and hopefully will be good friends. I try my best but the truth is, I’m just another perfectly imperfect mom and mompreneur!

Candy.com: What can you tell us about this coming Monday night’s new episode?

Jackie: It’s going to feature two of our most awesome candy creations for the show! I mean, this is candy art! The episode will feature a Super Sweet 16 where we make a super cool Katy Perry-inspired edible candy dress and accessories for the birthday girl, Taylor. The second event is this incredible and massive Mother Goose build we created for another birthday party. Humpty- Dumpty, Little Bo-Beep, and  Little Miss Muffet, along with an incredibly life-like Mother Goose! All edible, all created out of candy and truly candy insanity! We’ve also got some major drama sprinkled into the episode. Sometimes I drive the team crazy. I know my expectations are out of this world, but the truth is, when you know how talented people are, you push them, and perhaps on Monday night’s episode, I pushed too hard.

There you have it! Set your DVR and tune into TLC Monday nights at 9 p.m. cst/10 p.m. est. For a taste of the show, click here to watch Jackie and crew create a candy county fair with enormous licorice-laden ferris wheel. All in day’s work!

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Two sisters set their sights on opening a candy store. Ten months later, they were up and running strong in Glen Allen, Va.

Sarah Solomon tells the story of how she went from high-tech sales to stay-at-home mom to launching a contemporary candy store with her older sister, Chrissy.

Candy.com: So, you opened Sweet Spot in Glen Allen, Va., with your sister in November 2010 after a successful career in software. What ultimately made you jump from software sales to Candy Land?

Sarah: Before my career in software, I had worked in retail for a few small locally owned businesses.  It was during that time that I developed the dream of owning my own business. I left my career in software sales 4 ½ years ago to stay home with my son. While home with my growing family, my sister and I would talk more and more about starting a business together. I just wasn’t sure exactly what it would be. It was my sister, Chrissy that always had Candy Land on the brain. It has always been her vision to create a modern version of an old-fashioned candy store.   The more we talked about it, the more I wanted this place to exist. With her creative vision and my experience in retail and sales, I felt confident that we could open a successful business together.

Candy.com: How long did it take you and your sister to get your candy shop up and running after you both made the decision to go for it?

Sarah: We’ve been talking about this for as long as I can remember, but we decided to go for it in January 2010 and we opened our doors November 20, 2010. We signed our lease in August 2010, so most things happened between August and November. It was a crazy few months!

Candy.com: Your store definitely has a modern vibe, yet is stocked with nostalgic and hard-to-find candies. How did your contemporary design esthetic come to life?

Sarah: Since our store concept encourages guests to come in and hang out while they enjoy their sweets, it was important to us that the store be bright and fun. We both love design and knew from the beginning that we wanted to hire a firm to help us.  The best decision we made throughout the whole start-up process was to hire the local design firm, Visible Proof.  They helped with so much more than the design of the store. Our graphic designer, Ansel Olson created our amazing graphics, which are carried through the store on our bags, boxes, gift packaging, T-shirts, and even chocolates! They helped us create an identity and brand.

Visible Proof has received multiple awards this year for their work on Sweet Spot from the graphics to the overall store design. We couldn’t be happier how the store turned out.

Candy.com: When we talked at the 2011 Sweets & Snacks EXPO, you mentioned how you really work hard to find unique candies for your shop. Any new product(s) from the expo that made you weak in the knees?

Sarah: Leaf Brand’s Farts Candy. I’m still not sold on the name but I’m sold on the candy! They were delicious and I wanted more. We tried them out on our candy testers and they all agreed that they are going to give Nerds a run for their money. Now we just need to get them in the store.

Candy.com: Your upcoming “Candy Lego Building Contest” with candy Legos and Marshmallow Fluff sounds like a dream come true for Lego lovers. How do you come up with all of your clever in-store events?

Sarah: We always knew that we were building Sweet Spot to be more than just a retail candy store.  It was built to create memories and experiences for people.  We wanted to create a place where we wanted to take our own kids and the events are an important part of that.  As for the ideas, I wish I could take credit but it is all Chrissy. She is our real life Willy Wonka. If only I had a dollar for every time I heard her say, “Wouldn’t it be fun if….”

On National Gumdrop Day, I had to talk her out of trying to get permission to drop gumdrops off the balcony several floors above our store so kids could catch them in buckets on the sidewalk below.

Candy.com:  Since your grand opening, is there anything that’s really surprised you and your sister about the business?

Sarah: I’m surprised by how many people (other than Chrissy and me) are emotionally connected to the nostalgic memories that candy and sweets can trigger. It is so fun to watch someone get excited about finding a candy or soda they haven’t seen since they were a kid. It is amazing how something so small can bring back a flood of childhood memories and make you feel so warm inside. We love that we can share that with people. Just the other day, someone came in and asked if we had Bonkers. I hadn’t thought about that candy in years and it brought back a flood of memories of my childhood. They should bring those back!

Candy.com: Any plans for opening additional outposts?

Sarah: We would definitely like to expand and have been researching additional locations in Virginia.

For more information, visit:

ShopSweetSpot.com
Facebook/Sweet-Spot-Candy

Twitter/SweetSpotCandy

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in Business, Candy

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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