03.20.08 - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Laurel Walker talks about us, candy raisins and the public push to keep these things around. According to the article, even the administrative assistant of NECCO’s president has signed our petition.
Now that we’ve generated some web traffic, and more importantly, petition signatures, I figured it was time to contact the company all this is directed at. If/when I receive a response, I’ll be sure to share it here on the site.
Dear NECCO Representatives,
My name is Gary Radke, and I’m the creator of www.SaveTheCandyRaisins.com. When news of the Stark plant closure reached my friends and I, we were disappointed, to say the least. I’m certainly not unrealistic… I understand the competitive landscape has changed, and difficult business decisions need to be made.
All I can ask is that you take a look at the number of folks who have signed the petition on our site, and the incredibly emotional comments they have left about your Candy Raisins. This little candy has been a significant part of the fabric of Milwaukee and Wisconsin for decades.
Thank you for your time and consideration in keeping the Candy Raisin alive.
Chief Sweet Tooth
Candy Raisin lover S.V. had a great idea - we should provide code so ya’ll can link to us from your websites, MySpace pages and Facebook accounts. Below is a start. Just plop the code on your page and you’ll end up with the little tile like the one you see below. We’re working on some different sizes and designs. Let us know if there’s anything in particular that will help you spread the word.
<a href=”http://www.savethecandyraisins.com”><img border=”0″ src=”http://www.savethecandyraisins.com/images/raisinlink.jpg” width=”200″ height=”162″ alt=”www.SaveTheCandyRaisins.com”></a>
This tidbit came via our site feedback form:
“I am the category manager (buyer) for candy for pick n save and copps stores. I can share two things. 1) All of our stores carry candy raisins, it’s a great seller and 2) in my conversations with NECCO they tell me they DO intend to continue manufacturing them.”
This is great potential news. But until we hear something directly from the New England Candy Company, we’ll keep our efforts going. Keep forwarding our site to everyone you know. And check back for the latest developments.
Gene Mueller and John Byman of the WTMJ radio morning show in Milwaukee were gracious enough to have me on their show at 7:39 this morning. Man that’s early. Anyway, the link below has an mp3 of the interview, and Gene also mentions us in his blog, found here. Many thanks to them for helping promote an issue so near and dear to our hearts.
(runs about 5 minutes)
Welcome to our little corner of cyberspace dedicated to saving a staple of our Wisconsin childhood - the Candy Raisin.
As a kid growing up in the Milwaukee area in the 70s there were several things that were icons of my childhood - JicJac Soda, Leon’s custard and candy raisins are three that jump to mind. Leon’s is still hanging in there, but JicJac is gone and now, candy raisins are being threatened with extinction.
What are they? - Candy Raisins are a strange little nugget. They are a translucent, honey colored candy similar in shape to a jujube. They have the texture of Dots and a unique flavor. The best I can describe their flavor is a light ginger taste. You find them in bulk candy stores and in the retail packaging seen in the site’s header.
History - Candy Raisins were originally manufactured by three companies: American Candy Company, the Ziegler Candy Company and the Haase Candy Company. Stark Candy Company began making its own version of the Candy Raisins in the early 1970s. Today, the Stark Candy Co. (part of the New England Candy Co, or NECCO) is the only company still manufacturing this juju candy. Stark trademarked the candy in 1976. They are a Midwest, and almost exclusively Milwaukee, thing.
Well, according to a recent article in today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, NECCO is closing the Stark Candy plant in Pewaukee, WI - and they are unsure if they will continue to manufacture these sweet little gems.
If you are so inclined, please sign our petition, which will be forwarded to the folks at NECCO to let them know that there is some serious grassroots support for Candy Raisins.
Also, feel free to drop a little note to the fine folks at NECCO and let them know how you feel.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, contact:
Candy Fans Launch
Green Bay, WI: Natives of Southeastern Wisconsin have grown up with a unique regional candy called Candy Raisins for decades. These candies are a translucent brown, gum drop-like confectionary that are now endangered.
The New England Confectionary Co. (NECCO) has owned the patent on (and the only production facility of) the candy since the mid-1970s. They recently announced the closure of that Pewaukee, WI plant (Stark Candy Co.) and with it, production of Candy Raisins. They are still undecided if they will move production to their Massachusetts plant, or cease production altogether. The company cites overseas competition as a key factor in the plant closure.
West Allis, WI native (and Green Bay resident) Gary Radke has launched a website to help save these tasty treats from his childhood. The site, www.SaveTheCandyRaisins.com features background on the candies and their current plight. Most importantly, it has an online petition that Candy Raisin lovers can sign in hopes of saving this regional delicacy.
Radke hopes to get the word out to Milwaukee area natives who know and love the candy. “As soon as the article came out I exchanged emails with a friend who is also a big Candy Raisin fan. We decided that we had to do something to try and save this icon of our childhood,” said Radke.