Clifford “Junior” Phillips has been working at the Piedmont Candy Co. for 26 years and he’s never missed one day of work.

“If he didn't show up one day, I think we'd all be confused,” says Mary Llewellyn Cox, v.p. of sales and marketing. 

The job was originally meant to be temporary — just a three-month gig. But the sweet Red Bird peppermint puffs the company is known for lured him in. And the family atmosphere projected by the Reid family, and in particular Chris Reid, ceo, is what’s helped Phillips stick it out.

“We're all a pretty big family. The whole crew,” Phillips says. “I've got the best job in the business, honestly.”

In fact, Phillips loves it so much that he’s since helped get multiple family members hired on, including: Two brothers, Wayne and Dale; his nephew Josh; two nieces, Candi and Stephanie; as well as his son Kacey and his daughter Kayla.

While working for Piedmont, Phillips himself has done so many jobs that he jokes it would be easier to list the things he hasn’t done.

“The most beautiful pieces of candy that will come off the line will come from Junior,” Cox says. “And he works with Chris on the updating, and the fixing, and if we need it figured out, we ask Junior.”

It’s a role he’s happy to be in.

“I should have missed a lot of days, but I always put Piedmont Candy first,” Phillips says. “I don't mind it. I wouldn't trade it for anything.”