Local Candy!

Kola Crafts, Reporter

Did you guys know that we have our own candy shop here in Woodland Park? The owners Charmee and Gary Andrews have made this candy for many years, starting back when Gary’s parents made it in 1954. The current owners took over the business in 1971, which originated in Arkansas and later moved to Colorado. They have also traveled and gone into the white house back when Clinton was in office.

Back in the beginning they would go to cafes and get the old pickle jars for packing candy. The way they packed was the “house of cards” method. You start at the bottom and put in as many pieces you can fit and then work up the sides going back and forth until the jar is full.  They still use that method today. When I asked how the transition was from Arkansas to Colorado, Charmee told me that the elevation was a major factor in the candy making process. They had to make many adjustments to get it just right. Charmee has been making this candy for 20 years, which allowed her to take over the family business. When Gary was laid off at Renolds Aluminum he finally decided to fully take it over.  Gary had been around the brittle making form longer so he took over making it and Charmee moved to fudge, both are very good and highly addicting if you are ever in the mood for something sweet.

What happens when they are ready to retire? Charmee and Gary have two sons that know the business. One owns another branch of this store over in Kansas City, Kansas. He is successful when it comes to selling and he knows how to make the candy. The other brother lives in Colorado and is good with business aspects. They work well together due to their different talents.

Has this been what they always wanted to do in life? Nope, Gary was a pro golfer in Arkansas. Charmee was happy to be a stay at home mom with her three children. She was a homeroom and Sunday school teacher. They had a good life, but Golf does not always pay the bills. They needed more in life. I asked if they loved making candy. Charmee informed me that they used to love it. Not so much anymore. Their muscles are sore and they are tired.  But it was always fun making it and meeting people.

The candy in their shop ranges from the brittle made in the back of the store, to fudge made up front and random sweets such as big swirl lollipops and other assortments.  Everything is delicious and the owners are delightful. If you are in a sweet mood, head on down to Andrews Candies, located at US-24, Woodland Park, Co 80863.