Made-in-Bloomington sweets and treats, from Nestlé's chocolate to Beer Nuts Brand Snacks, are savored around the world.
In the beginning‚ there were small storefront candy makers.
Today, an assortment of sweets that are made in Bloomington cross oceans. These include fine chocolates, peanut brittle, candies and nuts. The story of Bloomington’s sweet tooth starts with entrepreneur Paul F. Beich, who launched his namesake company in the late 19th century by purchasing an enterprise that began in 1854.
Golden Crumbles‚ Laffy Taffy‚ Katydids‚ chocolate bars and many more treats have been produced locally ever since. In 1952‚ Kathryn Beich – the wife of the grandson of Paul F. Beich – suggested a program for clubs and churches to raise funds by selling the firm’s candies.
The Kathryn Beich/Nestlé USA fundraising division is now a separate entity‚ with the Bloomington factory – owned by Nestlé USA since 1984 – turning out its products.
At Boylan’s Candy‚ Pat Boylan is the third generation of his family to produce the peanut brittle and caramel apples for which the company is famous. Boylan’s grandfather teamed up with his brother to start selling candy at their soda shop in 1920. In 2005‚ Sally Flynn became the president and her husband Dan Flynn, a vice president. Under Pat Boylan’s direction‚ the candies continue to be made just like they were in the old days.
Boylan’s Candy also has a partnership with Beer Nuts Brand Snacks, which is located across the street. Boylan’s coats almonds‚ cashews and pecan in chocolate and sells them in the snack company’s two outlet stores as well as its own store. Boylan’s candies also are sold in area pharmacies‚ convenience stores and restaurants.
At The Chocolatier Inc. in historic downtown Bloomington‚ customers can ponder a luscious array of chocolates, as well as lollipops‚ fruit-flavored hard candies and gummies stashed in small glass bins. The Chocolatier also offers malt balls in espresso‚ mint‚ and cookies-and-cream flavors. Web marketing and word-of-mouth have led The Chocolatier to custom pack orders and ship anywhere‚ particularly North America and Western Europe. The store will print a company’s logo on boxes of candy to be used as customer gifts or as favors for guests at a wedding reception.
In addition to Kathryn Beich/Nestlé USA‚ Boylan’s Candy and The Chocolatier‚ Bloomington has a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory store that makes some of its confections on the premises.