BOISE, Idaho - This month, the Idaho Candy Company is dishing out sweet treats for the holidays by the truckload. The company has been up-and-running in the Treasure Valley since 1901, serving up nostalgic candy in Idaho and beyond.
Although it may not look like Santa's workshop, inside the historic downtown Boise storefront, you'll find a crew cranking out Christmas Candy faster than the North Pole!
"We start Christmas usually in September!" Idaho Candy Co. President David Wagers said, "That's actually when we start gearing up staff."
Wagers is now the President of the company but began working in the factory in the 1980s. Around the holidays, though, he prefers his other title. "On my business card I have 'Candyman'!" he said, "Much more fun to be Candyman than President."
The Candyman will tell you the company's become an iconic fixture in the candy-making industry, and he has a fair point.
"I mean, where else can you find a candy bar named after a potato?" Wagers argued.
For more than a century, Idaho Candy Company has prepped, produced and packaged Willy Wonka-sized shipments of peanut brittle, butter toffee, lemon drops and of course, the iconic Idaho Spud.
"We do 30,000 Idaho Spud bars a day, we'll do a couple million of those a year," Wagers said. "We sell them in gift boxes, people ship them all over the country."
And when you're around for more than a lifetime, you can't help but become a fan favorite in the community.
"We have customers that are well over 50 years old that continue to give our candy as a representation of their company which is just awesome for both of us!" Wagers said.
And inside the factory, tradition is important. Idaho Candy Co. prides itself in offering nostalgic candy that will transport their customers back in time. Wagers points out, "You can't form a new old nostalgic candy company."
Not only are they still serving up some of the same sweet staples a lifetime later, but they're using some of the same equipment, dating back to the 1910s and 1920s.
"We're very good at fixing things! Nobody else works on these machines but us, because nobody else knows how to fix them," Wagers said.
And true to their Idaho roots, the company buys many of their individual ingredients and packaging materials from companies within the Treasure Valley.
"Well, we are Idaho Candy Company, and that means we live and die by Idaho," Wagers said. "So we're always trying to say, 'Can we get legitimate sources of our products locally, where we can buy them and use them, so we support other Idaho families?'"
If you want to get your treats straight from the source, they have a storefront at the Factory at 412 S. 8th Street and they even offer free samples inside! Oh, and spread the word to your out-of-state friends because Idaho Candy Company distributes to retailers in 12 states across the country.