We're a bit partial to our Peppermint Cocoa - rich, decadent cocoa ice cream wrapped up with an intense single-origin peppermint oil for an epic rendition of the classic holiday drink. This year, we took it a step further and reached out to our friends at Hammond's Candies for their one of a kind hand-crafted candy canes.
One of America's oldest candy-makers, and for good reason (have you seen their TikTok?!), Hammond's has nailed the candy game for almost 100 years, handcrafting beautiful taffies, ribbon candies, and our personal favorite, their iconic candy canes.
We recently sat down with Andrew Schuman, Hammond's CEO, to chat all things candy-making magic:
We love that Hammond’s started as a family business (we were founded by cousins!). How has the Hammond spirit carried on after all the transitions and expansions over the years?
AS: There has always been a sense of family at Hammond’s starting with the Hammond’s family and carrying all the way through present ownership, and that helps with carrying on the spirit.
What started as candies has evolved into caramels, and now snacks. Can you talk about the evolution of Hammond’s? How many types of products do you currently offer?
Your Tik Tok is so mesmerizing. We could watch it all day. How has that impacted the business, if at all? Why do you think it resonates so well with users?
AS: Getting close to 2.5M TikTok has been fun to watch. I think being one of the only companies to still make handmade hard candies and the process we use, people gravitate towards that and the nostalgic feeling they get when watching.
The ribbon candy! Talk to us about the origin and process.
AS: Ribbon candy is one of Hammond's original candies. It is a traditional Christmas candy. We still use the same machines that the Hammond’s family used way back in 1920. I found this online and believe it to be pretty true…. Ribbon candy is a traditional Christmas candy that goes back for centuries in Europe, though it is unclear exactly where the candy was first created. Confectioners developed the candy as a Christmas decoration for their shops, modeling the wavy form around the candy maker's thumb. In the 1800s mechanical crimpers were invented to shape the ribbons.
What’s one product someone might be surprised to hear that you make?
AS: The cookies and crème bunnies we make for Easter. Normally these are dark or milk chocolate, but these have been a hit ever since we introduced them a few years ago.
We use your peppermint candies in our Peppermint Cocoa holiday flavor, which is a huge hit. Our head ice cream maker raves about the quality of your candies and we can truly taste the difference. How do you make your candy canes and peppermint candies? How is that different from some other candy-makers?
AS: We make everything by hand. I think doing that allows us to have more control over the flavor and the look. Most others use machinery and cannot replicate the tempering process we use and the shine we get on the candy.
We have to ask: How much candy do you make in a day, a year?
AS: We make about five thousand pounds of candy a day and about 2 million pounds per year in Denver. When you add some of our co-manufacturers, it is closer to 8M.
Looking to spruce up your holiday candy game? Head over to Hammond's Candies and check out their latest creations or pop by their TikTok for their mesmerizing videos. We could watch them make ribbon candy all day..