Saturday, July 17, 2010

Anderson's hits the road; ice cream, donuts & candy in tow

Dad and Uncle Lars decided to take the candy store on the road back in 1990. We began pretty small, pushing chocolate samples and business cards in commercial barns at a handful of fairs and festivals in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.

Some 21 years later we've come a long way and have learned a lot.

I am proud to say that we are still traveling the carnival circuit -- now outdoors with a fancy concession trailer -- and have developed quite a few friends along the way.

My father, Leif, and the rest of our family throughly enjoys working each of the fairs.

In doing this, we have been able to meet, chat with, and enjoy the company of hundreds of new and longtime customers.

And, in a funny way, we've created a monster. After adding cinnamon & sugar mini-donuts and ice cream sundaes along the way, we have become famous at the fairs for reasons that don't include chocolate! Sometimes we even have to remind fair-goers, 'Hey! We do chocolate, too!'

Whether you're a regular county fair patron or haven't been out to the grounds for a while we encourage you to visit one of the fairs we set up shop at each summer. Each offers a cheap and safe way to have great food and lots of fun!

Our 2010 Fair Schedule is as follows:

I grew up in a candy store

Well, sort of ...

My name is Katie Anderson and I am the oldest daughter of third generation candy maker Leif Anderson -- the current owner and operator of Anderson's Candy Shop in rural Richmond, Illinios.

My father, Leif, and his brother, Lars, inherited the business from their mom and dad, Raynold and Violet Anderson. "Vi" and Raynold inherited the shop and all of its secrets from Arthur and Gertrude Anderson -- Raynold's parents.

You can see my dad (at left) uncle, great grandpa and grandpa (at right, from left) all making candy in the photo.

I was born into this family of confectioners in 1985.

Although my family did not actually live in the candy store when I was growing up (we had a house in the neighboring town) I, like my father and his father, in large part grew up at the candy store.

You see, as head cooks, accountants, janitors, repair men and the face of Anderson's Candy Shop, Anderson's are never truly away from work. Grandma and grandpa used to answer their home phone with a business-like, "Hello, Anderson's" and my dad often does the same on his cell today.

As I begin this blog, it is my hope that it will serve three purposes:

  • To encourage dialouge between customers and the family at Anderson's.
  • To share stories -- happy and sad -- from the past 90+ years in the candy business.
  • To post information about store offerings and events like Classic Car Cruise Nights in Richmond and our upcoming County Fair schedule

I'd also like to incorporate more than just promotional material and my point of view in these pages. I'd love to post stories, comments, questions and pictures from customers, family and friends along the way.

I encourage you to contact me at any time at