Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Hammond's Candy Factory


While I was recently in Colorado, visiting my Children and grandchildren before Christmas, we all decided to take a ride to the Hammond Candy Factory located at 5735 North Washington Street, in Denver, Colorado, where we'd go on their free factory tour and watch how they made candy canes, lollypops, and other candies which are basically made the old fashioned way, by hand, since the 1920's.


We entered the hospitality center where the free tours run every half hour, Monday-Friday 9:00 am - 3:00 pm and Saturdays 10:00 am - 3:00 pm. They are closed on Sunday. After watching a ten minute video about the history of candy making in Denver, and Hammond's history we were welcomed into the factory to watch the candy making process behind glass windows as the tour guide told us more about what was going on.


My grandson, as well as the other children on the tour, were enthralled watching candy being made!



It is fascinating to watch the syrupy base have color and flavors added.


Then the mixture is placed on a "puller" which incorporates all the colors and flavors  As the machine pulls, it adds air, turning the candy white. Next the red, white, and green sections are laid out on a heated table, where the workers knead it out in a long, flat “blanket.”


The solid centerpiece is placed on the blanket of stripes, and the blanket is wrapped around it. The candy makers put this roll on a heated canvas mat. The mat is on a machine that rotates the bundle.



When the bundle is hot enough, a cook takes one end in his hands and pulls it to the width of a candy cane. As the cook pulls, the machine rolls the bundle. This motion creates the twist in the candy cane stripes. As the cook cuts the strip into pieces, a worker takes each piece and puts a crook in it. Hammond's is one of the last candy companies to do this part of the candy making process by hand.  Workers then place the canes on trays to cool, and then they roll the finished candy canes into the packaging room.


The candy canes and lollypops are then wrapped in cellophane, boxed and sent out to stores.



There is a wonderful retail store on location that has all the wonderful varieties of colors and flavors, many of which are all natural, of the large seven inch candy canes for sale!  We bought Apple Pie, Sugar Plum, Cherry and Chocolate filled Peppermint flavored candy canes.


Hammond's also makes old fashioned ribbon candy and sells many gift set assortments.


The store had a wonderful array of all the different varieties of candy that Hammond's makes, including chocolate bars, hand dipped chocolates, marshmallows, caramels...



...candy dips and snacks, cocoa and taffy. They make special candies for the holidays, so we saw plenty of Christmas and Hanukkah candy on display during our visit. You can also order their candy online.



If you really want to impress someone you can even buy this giant five pound lollypop!  This was seen in the Food Network Show "Kid in a Candy Shop" episode that was shot at Hammond's.



My grandson certainly enjoyed his visit to Hammond's Candy Factory!



I'm adding this post to the "Foodie Friday" blog event on Michael's blog Designs By Gollum , and "Pink Saturday on Beverly's blog How Sweet the Sound.



Bookmark and Share

43 comments:

betsy said...

How wonderful! To find good things still being made in this country. By hand no less. Inspiring.

Vee said...

I heard "candy" and came running. Oh my! Now that's my kind of factory. No wonder you're little grandson is delighted with that place. Hope that he enjoyed some of the candy as well. I never did find the good old-fashioned ribbon candy that we used to find. Perhaps this is a great place to keep on file. Thank you for taking us along on the tour!

Vee said...

your little grandson...fingers got going too fast with the thoughts of sugar ☺

Barbara F. said...

This looks like a fun place to visit. I would love some fresh candy canes next year. Have to check out their online store. xo

Old Kitty said...

Oh my goodness!! My teeth are rattling at such a sweet sight! WOW!!! How amazing!!!

Awww your grandsons are adorable!!! What a paradise for them! Yay!! I really like that pink blob of pure candy on the conveyor belt!! Oh my!!!

Take care
x

Ginny said...

I had no idea about this place, I have never heard of it! It all looks so good, I even went online and looked around a bit. You didn't buy as much as I would have!

ellen b. said...

Your grandson is so darn cute! It must have been fun to see that candy made!

Pondside said...

I loved the little ones in their paper hats!
Pat, this was an unfair post, because I think I gained weight just reading it, and you know I have to fit into some sort of attractive dress in the spring!
I wish you and yours all the best in 2012. It's been such a pleasure to read your posts and to come to know you.

LDH said...

I loved this tour of Hammond's Candy Factory! I try and get enough candy canes each year to last me through next November when the new ones arrive in the stores.

Happy New Year dear blogging friend!

Sheila said...

Your grandson is so sweet! This reminds me of the Christmas candy that we used to be given at Christmas time. It must have been an interesting tour!

The Gathering Place said...

We had a candy factory a short drive away here and my sister and I would stop and buy some of their "seconds" candy. It has little mistakes in the shapes, but not the flavor. We were sad to see the factory close. (Probably a good thing for us, however!)

Sue said...

Hi Pat.....it's been a long time since I have been by....too much going on in my crazy life....But I was in Brooklyn last Saturday night and thought of you....We went to eat at Fada....I think that was it's name...a little dive of a French Bistro but we went to hear the Gypsy guitar player that I adore.....food was very good but the place but a bit to noisy.....How have you been?......I was in the city for a week to visit daughter and Miss B....they now live on 54th at Sutton Pl.....I still don't know how she can afford it.....the prices are insane.....I did get to see Pricilla Queen of the Desert.....OMG....took Sophie and had no idea what it was about except disco music and great costumes....Boy were we shocked.....she loved it and refused to leave at intermission.....They brought her up on stage during the second half and the crowd went wild.....we just sat and died.....
I just posted her new calendar and it's theme this year is "I Love NY".......so if you get the chance stop by and take a look......Hugs, Sue in Georgia

Betsy said...

Oh how fun! When I was a girl, I thought those big swirly lollipops were just amazing!

Carol said...

I loved the tour! My favorite is the ribbon candy. What a fun place to go with your grandson, he must have had a blast!

Kris said...

What a fabulous field trip that would be, both for the young ones and "mature" alike!!!

Ola said...

I was as a schoolgirl in chocolade factory and I still remember:)

diane b said...

What a great place to take children.I guess grown ups would love it too. It is great that they still do it by hand.Your grandson has such a cute face.

diane b said...

I forgot to say that I love your header and I can proudly say that I have stood where you took the shot but only in summer unfortunately.

Vicki/Jake said...

Visions of sugar plums, YUM! I'm thinking this would be a good place to work. After being around candy most of the day I surely wouldn't want to eat any:)

Theanne and Baron said...

Impressive...they still make gorgeous candy the old fashioned way! Beautiful photos and photo collages Pat! Your grandson is a handsome lad and cute as can be!

pam said...

Oh my gosh--- ribbon candy!!!!! That is a memory from my childhood. I didn't know anyone still made it. I'll have to see if they sell online and get some for next year. I always love watching how something is made.

Riet said...

Oh my goodness all that delicious candy and goodies. It must also smell heavenly in that factory.

Great photo's.

Happy NewYear to you and yours Pat.

Riet

Jeannelle said...

Thanks for the interesting tour!

Sara said...

How fun to watch all that colorful candy being created! The ribbon candy brings back memories of childhood Christmases.

I see a family resemblance in your little grandson. Hope you and yours have a wonderful New Year and may the months ahead be good to all of you in every way.

Thanks for all the amazing things you share so beautifully here on your blog, Pat.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Long time no see! I've been computerless and am trying to play catch up on my visits. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, my friend!

I loved seeing this. I looked and looked for candy canes made in the USA, and I couldn't find any. Now, I know where to look! I kept finding ones made in other countries.

Your little grandson is just darling. I know you are enjoying him. We had a good Christmas here, but sadly no pictures. My camera was missing and turned up after Christmas. Now, my plug is missing!

Many blessings to you and yours, Pat. Love you much...

XO,

Sheila :-)

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Wow! What a fun place to tour. Now I must go and see where our candy canes are made. I'll be on the lookout for Hammonds from here on in!

Blessings to you and yours in 2012!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

What a delightful place to tour! I love how everything looks like it probably did back in the 1920s too.

annie said...

This is your yummiest post ever !
Happy New Year!

Yvette said...

What fun! I especially love ribbon candy. But those candy cane flavors sound scrumptious!!

This must be the Willy Wonka of candy canes.

Marina {Yummy Mummy) said...

Wow, my girls would love this!!!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Oh, what a fun adventure to share with your grandsons, Pat!! Love that the candy is still made by hand... and looks like they employ a lot of folks!! Gotta love that! Blessings ~ tanna

Claudia said...

You are truly a wonderful kid in a candy store. I've never been to a candy factory (except via Mister Roberts years ago). The ribbon candy just sent me down memory lane. It wasn't Christmas without ribbon candy! Your little guy is so gorgeous - oh those soulful eyes! Happy New Year Pat - let's keep track of the weight thing with each other - still trying to lose "Italy" and fifteen more! 2012 is going to be great!

Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs said...

Such a sweet spot for a visit with a sweet—and adorable!—grandson. I'm sure he thoroughly enjoyed it! I'll have to keep that in mind for the next time Bubby visits. Your photos are, as always, absolutely delightful!

Best wishes to you and your precious family for a wonderful start to 2012! Hugs from Colorado (in addition to the ones you already get from family!).

Ciao Chow Linda said...

So interesting to see how sugar and coloring can be made into those swirling ribbons that become candy. I can just imagine how the little guys loved this tour.

From the Kitchen said...

I can just imagine that little cutie's delight at being in a candy factory!! I did see Hammond's on the Food Network a few years ago--what fun! And, those candies always find their way to our Whole Foods and end up in stockings at our house.

Happy new year to you and yours!

Best,
Bonnie

podso said...

What a fun factory! It reminds me a bit of the Hershey factory though that is only a recreated tour now. It doesn't seem you can go see factories like you used to be able to. But what could be better than a candy factory?

Have a happy new year!

RNSANE said...

How wonderful to see this post. June Hammond, the wife of the original owner of this factory, became a cruising friend of mine many years ago and we traveled quite extensively together, sharing a cabin through the Mediterranean, the Baltic, Mexico, and several other places. She was a widow then but was most glamorous, dressing elegantly and dancing the night away. She always gave me wonderful candy to take home to my boys. Once, my middle son went to Denver for a few days as their guest, got to go to a Bronco's game and gorged himself on the candy. It was one of the special trips of his life.

Marg said...

And that little one begins to take the spotlight. Isn't that the best thing that has happened?
Thank-you for sharing your inspiring stories of your day to day visits in your beautiful city.

steviewren said...

Happy New Year, Pat!!! I hope 2012 is a sweet one for your family!

Eli said...

This look like the PARADISE!!!!! How amazing tour, thank you so much!!! My favorites are candy canes, not so easy to find here in Italy!
I wish you a great 2012!!!
Hugs
Eli

Cindy said...

Candy making the old fashioned way is fascinating! I would love to take a tour like that.
Happy New Year, Pat.
Hugs, Cindy

RoeH said...

I wanna go there! The Etsy place sounds wonderful. BTW - I had to kill my All About Arizona blog.

THANK'S WEIRD RELATIVE!!!

Sometimes you have to do what's necessary.

Anyhoo....

http://stinkeestinkee.blogspot.com/

New blog - new title - new digs. I didn't want to lose you in the outer limits somewhere. :)

Annesphamily said...

I love Hammonds! The history of this factory is so amazing. It is one of the most fun tours you can take! It brings out the kid in everyone! I live about 20 minutes from Hammonds. The Tamale Kitchen is across the road and they have the best tamales! We order them for Christmas each year! This year they had vegetarian tamales and we bought them for our youngest daughter Hannah who is a vegan! She said they were delicious!
Pat you always share the very best photos! I lvoe to stop by here. Hugs Anne