I am a candy maker and have been a candy maker for 45 years. I will soon retire from this industry confident that I did my part to strengthen our products, the companies and owners I was privileged to work with, and the industry as a whole.
My career began with a third-generation candy company owner who taught me the basics. He also taught me that confectionery was an integral part of the food industry and that our job was to make the absolute best candy that we could all of the time.
I have enjoyed my career immensely and always enjoy the responses I get when asked what I do for a living. Children get wide-eyed! Adults smile! And anyone who ever visited a candy company recounts their experience with joy!
I am proud that the companies I have worked for produced chocolate and confections that have been enjoyed without hesitation by every man, woman, and child who approached our finished goods with a gleam in their eyes.
There are things that I don’t do, however, and things that confectioners are increasingly doing that I am concerned about.
- I do not make vitamins that look and taste like candy.
- I do not believe that it is in our industry’s best interests to make products that can be confused with the candy we make.
- I do not make candy that contains cannabis and I am very concerned that those who are doing this put our industry at risk.
I believe a critical element of every confectioner’s job is to protect our industry from look-a-like products that can cause confusion for candy buyers in the marketplace and problems for families at home.
I believe every business step we take should be focused on the production of high quality, great tasting confections that children and adults can safely consume in moderation.
My strongest belief, however, is that a lollipop that can hurt a child because of an ingredient that’s in it is a big problem for all confectioners.
I know we must always look toward tomorrow with the business decisions we make today.
I also know that the forces that want to demonize confections will use any opportunity to do so, and that we must do all that we can as an industry to be vigilant.
I am a huge fan of free and open commerce. No matter what I suggest or whatever concerns I may have, products that contain cannabis will enter the marketplace.
My hope, however, is that our industry organizations and our industry leaders espouse public positions that help all confectioners make the right decisions for their customers, our children and our future.