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.