100-Year-Old Candy Factory Makes 10 Million Candy Canes Per Year | Legendary Eats


Joe Avella: Hammond’s has
been making candy in Denver for almost 100 years. What makes them special
is everything they make is still handmade. We’re gonna go to the factory
and see how they do it, and who knows, maybe I’ll even hop in and help them make some candy. Hammond’s pumps out millions
of candy canes each year, and today, I’m gonna learn how they do it. Ladies! Whew! Customer: Going to see
how they make candy. Joe: Yeah, you excited? Customer: Yeah! Customer: I’m taste testing them! Andrew Schuman: Hammond’s
is one of the oldest candy manufacturers in the country, and we continue to make candy by hand. Our recipes are classic, we source all of our ingredients locally, and we really try to service
our customers properly. We’ve really grown from
being a local candy store to a medium-sized manufacturer, and to be able to service all of those different types of customers, I think, is something that’s really
special about our company. Joe: Hammond’s is especially known for its candy canes, selling about 10 million canes a year, all handmade, all hand packaged. But how has it kept the
tradition alive for 100 years? Kammy Stucker: To me, I think
Hammond’s has lasted over 100 years because it’s artsy, it’s unique, it’s fun, it’s colorful, it’s flavorful. There’s so many reasons. And I think you can
definitely tell the difference between what we do and a mass-produced
piece of candy any day. Joe: These days, you can
find Hammond’s at Walmart, Target, and Williams-Sonoma, but the journey started over 100 years ago with this man, Carl T. Hammond Sr. Denver, Colorado. The year is 1913, and Carl begins working as a candies man. By the time our nation
hits the Roaring ’20s, Carl struck out on his own,
using can-do American zip to create Hammond’s Candy Company. Business was swell, the bee’s knees, even during the Depression, which Carl attributed to
the quality of his candy. “Nothing is more important
than quality” was his motto. In 1966, his son, Tom, took over, and business continued to flourish. Over the next five
decades, ownership changed, but the commitment to quality remained. In 1995, Williams-Sonoma added
Hammond’s to its catalog, bringing the brand to a national level. Today, Hammond’s factory in Denver hosts thousands of visitors each year for tours where fans can watch the sweet, handcrafted magic in person. Customer: We saw a video
of candy being made online. Customer: It inspired me. Joe: It inspired you?
Customer: She wanted to come. Customer: I’ve had the candy canes, and you can definitely
taste…it’s just exquisite. It was really good. Andrew: We hand twist, here at Hammond’s, almost 2 million lollipops a year. And we hand crook close to 10
million candy canes a year. Kammy: So, our candy starts
with three simple ingredients: sugar, water, and corn syrup. We cook it in a copper pot, which helps to conduct heat better. From there we cook it to 320 to 325, depending on what we’re making. Once it’s cooked to that temperature, we pour it on steel cooling tables. We can adjust that heat of the candy based on hot and cold running water underneath the tables. From there we add, either rework, if we can find some candy that
we crush up and melt back in. We like to recycle as
much as we possibly can. One thing about what’s going
on in the country today is most manufacturing
is leaving the country. And one of the things we
wanted to do here at Hammond’s is continue to manufacture
a great, quality product in the United States. For Hammond’s, I think it’s kind of synonymous with handmade, quality, and that’s kind of what we
want to continue to do here. Joe: Kammy was nice enough to let me jump in and give it a try. And you know what? Candymaking is harder than it looks. [grunting] This is tough work, man. It’s no joke. I’d like to see a machine do this. Getting my workout today, boy. Joe: Yeah… Kammy: It’s gotta be the altitude. Joe: Yeah, it’s the altitude. Kammy: Once we get that color mixed in, we’re gonna start cutting two types of the parts of the candy. It’s gonna be a center and a jacket. For the center, we’re
gonna put that melted candy into it to recycle it. The jacket is gonna be of various shapes, various sizes of stripes and colors to match a specific
flavor that we’re making. Joe: We built this big guy and then brought it over to the batch roller. Kammy: Just drop it in. There you go. See, that’s perfect! Joe: Ah, thank you. This keeps it spinning so it’s warm enough to shape, cut, and fold. Booyah! Booyah! Look out. Kammy: You’ll need about 595 more. Joe: Ugh, all right. I’m out! Look at that one. Is that good? Feel like I did a good job. Let’s see how much it weighs. Is that good or bad? Kammy: That’s pretty good.
Joe: Is that good? Yeah! Then the canes are off to
be packaged and shipped. Hammond’s has many other
varieties of candy treats, all handmade, which the company puts the utmost importance on. Kammy: Because of the nostalgia,
because of how it looks, because of the integrity
we have making our candy, we felt that we need to keep it going, not only for past generations, but for future generations as well. Joe: That was a lot of
fun, and they even let me take some candy canes home. These are actually the ones
that you saw me cut earlier, and the reason that
they gave these to me is because I screwed it up so
bad they can’t sell them, and it was either this or the garbage, so. I don’t think I did that
bad of a job on these. Like, what do you think? This is OK. They’re a bit heavy, and most
of these are kinda lopsided.

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