Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas Cookie Recipes!

EDITORS NOTE: One of the wonderful things about being at the candy shop this time of year is Christmas cookies. Our employees are quite the bakers and bring in plenty of goodies to share, but so do our customers. Our favorites include this recipe which uses our own wrapped caramels. 
Do you have a recipe that uses Anderson's Candy? If so, email pictures and directions to and we'll post for everyone to enjoy.

Pecan Carmel Surprises

1 cup ground pecans
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 stick butter, softened
1 & 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup flour
12 Anderson’s wrapped caramels (unwrapped of course)
confectioners sugar

Prep work - Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Mix 1 tablespoon sugar with ground pecans.

Cream butter, remaining sugar and vanilla. Then gradually add flour and pecan/sugar mixture. When finished dough should be stiff enough to mold.

Cut Anderson's caramels in halves so that you have 24 caramel pieces 

Roll one tablespoon of dough into a ball and press one of the pieces of Anderson's wrapped caramel into the center, then roll to enclose the caramel. Repeat until all of the dough and caramel pieces are used up.

Place balls onto the cookie sheet about two inches apart.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Remove from oven and let cool on the pan for about 15 minutes.

Dust with confectioners sugar and remove from sheet to finish cooling.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

FAQs & good stuff to know about the new Barrington location

EDITOR'S NOTE: We finally opened the shop in Barrington! Saturday, November 17 was our Grand Opening and it was wonderful to see so many new and familiar faces at the event! As promised, the following is a list of information you should know about our new second location and some FAQs. If there is anything we missed, please let us know in the comments section at the bottom of the page or at 

Q: Where is this new store?

 A: We are located at 218 W. Main St., Barrington. That is four houses west of the Jewel/Osco in a yellow house (pictured left). Parking is in the rear.

Q: We had trouble finding you, did you know your signage is not good?

A: Yes, we know. We are sorry. We are working with the village to get better and more permanent signage approved soon.

Until then if you are having trouble please call us and we'll help get you here (224-655-2060)

Q: What are your hours in Barrington?

A:  Mon-Wed: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
      Thurs-Fri: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
      Saturday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
      Sunday: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Q: Do you carry all of your candy bars in the new shop?

A: Yes, we carry our full assortment of candy bars in milk and dark chocolate. However, we have much less space for storage at this location so if you are one of our customers who likes to buy 30 of a single type of candy bar at once, for example, 35 milk chocolate Nougat (you know who you are ) we recommend calling ahead and making sure that we have enough stock to fill your order.

Q: What are the differences between what you carry in Richmond and in Barrington?

A: In Barrington we will not have the ability to make large specially packed boxed assortments for you. This is due to storage space constraints. So, for example, if you are one of our customers who likes very specific candies, like only dark chocolate Lemon Creams, you would need to call a few days ahead to have them packed up in Richmond and sent to Barrington for you to pick up. There will be no extra charge for this.
Another big difference is the way the candy is presented in Barrington. Much of the chocolate is self-serve for the first time!

You can see below is a picture of our "candy bar wall" (from back before we opened) and a few close-ups of your favorite wax paper bags :)

Q: Who will staff the Barrington shop?

A: In the beginning it will be mostly Anderson's including fourth-generation candymakers Katie and Susanne along with close family friend and longtime employee Rachelle Johnston. We will hire locally however within the coming months. If you are interested in part time work, please email Katie at

Q: Will you have your gourmet sauces and dips?

A: For the most part, our dips and sauces selection will mirror Richmond.

Q: Will you have gifts, candles and jewelry like in Richmond?

A: For the most part, no. This shop is much smaller so we will focus on chocolate and also a few items which support the Barrington Area Historical Society -- our partners in this new endeavor.

Q: Can I place mail orders, Christmas orders, etc. in Barrington?

A: Yes you can. We will be happy to assist you just the same as if you were in Richmond or calling from your home.

Did your question get missed? Please contact us anytime toll free at 1-888-214-7614. For Richmond-centered questions call 815-678-6000
For Barrington dial 224-655-2060 
or simply email


Monday, October 1, 2012

Because what we do matters

EDITOR'S NOTE: This blog is very personal. It attempts to explain why my sister, Susanne, and I have created a special charity assortment of chocolates debuting this fall – the Anderson’s Candy Shop Give Back Box. For every one of these special assortments sold we will donate 25% of the proceeds to the Family Health Partnership Clinic of Woodstock, IL. Please read on for more information or visit

I wish I had known about the Family Health Partnership Clinic in 2006. If I had, maybe things would be different.

Six years ago this November, I found out that my mother, Ruth, had breast cancer.

I was 20 years old and home on Thanksgiving Break from Eastern Illinois University. I had come home early intent on surprising everyone. A happy surprise.

Upon sneaking into the house at about 3 a.m., I surprised mom first. She was on her way back to bed from a trip to the bathroom.

What happened next still seems like a dream to me -- unreal.

Even in the dark I could see that she was trying to hide something. And I was horrified when I realized that she was trying to block me from seeing that one of her breasts was triple it’s normal size.

There was a tumor.

She had hidden it well under her everyday clothes but the thin fabric of the nightgowns mom loved to wear could not hide the mass on her chest.

Shock and disbelief hit me first. Then horror, sadness, panic and anger.

Why had she not seen a doctor? How could she have let a likely cancerous growth get so large?

Then there was fear and tears. She might die.

My mother did not have health insurance or a job at that time. She let her condition escalate because she was afraid that if she was diagnosed with cancer before she had health insurance, she would not be able to afford treatment.

My sister, living at home at the time, was 18 years old and struggling to learn what she could to help our mom, but we were limited by our youth and naivety to the intricacies of health care policy and law.

Soon after I discovered mom's tumor, my Dad and his second wife, Tracy, helped my mom get approved for insurance through the State of Illinois. And, eventually, mom underwent a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation.

And she beat the cancer. For a while.

Three years later however, on a weekend trip home from my first job out of college, I had to convince mom once again to go to the hospital for treatment.

She had let her state insurance policy lapse because she could not afford to keep up with the payments. She also never got plugged in to a health care facility that helped her stay diligent with followup treatments.

In addition, she fell into a deep depression as one of the side effects of the radiation treatments.

The result -- the cancer was back and it was too late this time.

We learned shortly after mom was admitted to Centegra Hospital - McHenry, that the cancer had spread to her lymphatic system and metastasized her liver.

Five days later she was gone.

Ever since, Susanne and I, although surrounded by many loving and supportive people, have had to struggle with the pain and loss of someone whom we loved so much.

We have also wrestled since then with the thought that something as simple as knowing where clinics existed that helped the uninsured might have altered things; that having better knowledge of how the system works and what resources were available may have changed mom’s decisions and the outcome.

Two years after mom’s death and three years into my career as a journalist at daily newspapers, I thought I had gotten over most of those feelings of grief and regret.

I had written articles about all-consuming house fires, car accidents and other tragedies. But when I stumbled upon an assignment to write a piece about a volunteer at the Family Health Partnership Clinic of Woodstock, Illinois, I found myself suddenly very affected.

I learned about this place -- the clinic -- which provided consultations, medications and treatment to hundreds of McHenry County's uninsured. And I learned about the tireless volunteers there who care for the seemingly unending line of those who come seeking help.

After I interviewed my source,(Mary Lou was her name), I cried.

I cried because I was moved by her generous spirit. I shed tears for the hundreds of others who I imagined might be scared like my mother was. And I cried because I was so happy there were people there to help.

In her time on this earth, my mother taught my sister and I that what you do in this life matters.

And now as we now approach our third holiday season without her, Susanne and I find ourselves in a unique position to do something that we think would make her proud.

As October begins, we are closing in on our first year as full-time employees at the Candy Shop and now have control over several managerial aspects of the business. With that new freedom and power we have decided to create Anderson's first-ever charity-candy box.

Susanne and I have invented the Anderson's Candy Shop Give Back Box, a special chocolate assortment that we are going to sell this winter, in order to raise money for the Family Health Partnership Clinic.

By January, we hope to have raised some money to support the clinic and also hope to have raised awareness in the community to the clinic's cause. We want to help ensure that other families are aware of at least one local option for health care for the uninsured.

For more information about this project you can visit our website at

Thank you for reading and have a happy and health rest of 2012.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ribbons to remember, ribbons to raise awareness

EDITOR'S NOTE: At Anderson’s Candy Shop, we do special orders all of the time. Actually they are my favorite orders to fill. Bacon-bit dusted caramels, mango-flavored chocolates -- as a former journalist, I’m a sucker for a good story and these types of orders always come with good ones. One of the best stories this year took me by surprise. It did not come from a customer, really, but came from a young woman I work with at the candy shop nearly every day. Her's is the picture at the top of this blog and the following is, really, her story.

Just after Easter I took a phone call from our longtime customer and friend, Derrick Wolff. He is a firefighter/EMT with the Lake Geneva Fire Department and he needed chocolate “awareness ribbons” to sell as a fundraiser for his Walworth County Wisconsin Relay for Life team.

I took the order while making a batch of candy and then passed the project off to our chocolate-molding extraordinaire, Bethany Galla.

Beth is 21 and has worked at the candy shop for five years. She is fun, creative, attentive and cheerful, and I figured that she and Derrick would hit it off and the order would be relatively simple.

What I didn’t think about was that Beth is a cancer survivor herself. Because of this she felt inspired to take this order to another level.

On Friday, July 20, Wolff and his Relay for Life team will have 600 chocolate ribbons to sell -- about 400 of which are dyed and flavored to represent seven different kinds of cancers including green for kidney cancer, white for bone cancer, and gold for childhood cancers.

Over the years Beth has shared bits and pieces of her cancer story with our Candy Shop family and her survival story has given me immense respect for her strength and resilience.

Now I would like to share that story with you, our extended family.

I asked Beth last week to write some notes about her experience with cancer as a young child and the following is from what she wrote:

“Before I was a year old, noticeable bruises appeared under my eyes.

Doctors declared it food allergies and instructed my mother to remove solid foods from my diet and reintroduce them one by one.

This was not a good enough conclusion for my parents, however so my mother took me to get a second opinion from another doctor.

After a few more tests, I was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma.”

(In simple terms, the doctors had discovered a cancerous tumor. It was caused by abnormal nerve cell growth. Normally, these immature cells grow and mature into functioning nerve cells. But in Neuroblastoma, they become cancer instead. Early symptoms can include bone pain, difficulty breathing, pale skin and bluish color around the eyes, and loss of movement of the hips, legs or feet. This type of cancer usually occurs in infants and children and the cause is unknown. Eventually, Neuroblastoma can cause liver and kidney failure, decreased resistance to infection and organ failure. Beth’s symptoms did not surface until after her cancer had advanced.)

"The bruises and lethargy didn't manifest until the cancer had already spread to multiple organs in my body, including my liver, abdomen and bone tissue.

The cancer was in the fourth stage. I remember being in the hospital, though it is quite vague.

I remember I lost all my hair because of the chemotherapy. On top of the chemo treatments, I underwent radiation and finally surgery.

I have a huge scar on my abdomen as a constant reminder of my early childhood horror."

If you met Beth, you would never guess she went through trauma as a child. Even her voice is happy. But earlier this year when one of our dippers, Colleen Vineyard, organized her own Relay For Life team, Beth brought some of her old photos in to share.

In Beth's "before treatment" pictures there is a sad and sick looking little girl. In the "after" pictures is a child which resembles the bright and sweet person we all know and love today.

As I have watched Beth labor for more than 20 hours on the ribbon order during the past month -- carefully mixing the colored chocolates and pouring each mold, then wrapping her masterpieces and tying them with bows -- I am deeply touched by the love she has poured into each piece.

When a project is as personal as this one was to Beth it really shows, in the best way possible. Beth’s creations are as beautiful as she is.

For the past month, every time I have walked past the chocolate-molding room filled with Beth’s colored ribbons I have been struck with emotion. We all have our own stories.

I see the pink ribbons and my heart tugs as I am reminded of my mother who I lost to breast cancer in 2009. Sometimes I smile because the white ribbons remind me of the love of my grandpa, who suffered from bone cancer.

Always I am thankful for Beth.

“It is scarce these days that any family escapes the devastation that cancer springs upon them.

"It is so prevalent and we need to band together to raise awareness and continue campaigning for research of cancer treatments."

For me, Beth's passion for raising awareness to cancer has turned Derrick’s ribbons to something more than just chocolates. They have become sweet reminders of the resilience, dedication and strength possible in people and have made me feel extra proud to be working with a person like Beth.


If you have time, please consider taking a moment to support Derrick Wolff and his Relay for Life team by following this link:

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


EDITOR'S NOTE: Perhaps this post should have been called True Confessions as my sister, Susanne Anderson, has once again pulled back the curtain on life in the family business. As usual, it is written with her wonderful blend of irreverence, humor and heart.

My family loves notes. Here’s a great example, the catalyst for this blog post.

This is a note written on our daily cooking board explaining the different firmnesses that our caramels are cooked to.

I’m not sure where this habit came from, because Anderson notes aren’t limited to reminders or instructions to be tossed away five seconds after they serve their purpose. These notes can be written on anything, put anywhere and, most importantly, only God, or your preferred deity, knows how long they will stay up.

Did my grandfather write notes to himself like these? And if so, did he pick it up from his father? Have notes stuck in prominent places been an integral part of our business since its inception? Or longer? So many questions, so few answers. If only these walls could talk. I imagine they would know, since they’ve known my family and our notes since 1926.

I think my dad currently has the worst note problem. He writes notes daily and often re-writes the same notes. His computer is filled with these notes with file names like, well, this, a small sampling:

The employees also know that the best way to contact my dad is through notes, like these:

My uncle had a pretty bad note problem, too. Though he hasn’t worked here on a daily basis in a few years, his notes still adorn the walls and refrigerators all over the building. (Be sure to note the date on the second one – 2004!)

The note fad has even spread to my little brothers. Here’s a note by Aaron, my youngest brother, reminding Tracy Anderson, his mom, just how “awsome" he is:

I’m a big human note fan myself.

And now that I work more around food, I notice myself becoming more and more like my dad, writing virtual notes to myself.

Even Katie, my sister, has started to catch onto the craze.

So why do we keep up the note craze, and maybe more importantly, why don’t we get rid of them once their use has past?

My guess is that it has something to do with the philosophy of our business and family in general: tradition, like these notes, reminds us who we are. They give us guidance, remind us of our standards and connect us with the ones we love.

They're comforting and they push us to be our best. My uncle may not work here daily anymore, but we’re reminded of his presence (and demand for perfection!) every day.

And after hunting around the shop for these notes and pondering their usefulness and place in the grand scheme of running a business, I only ended up taking half of them down.

(As a side note, when asked about the note craze, Tracy Anderson, Leif Anderson's wife, after explaining that they are comforting and guiding, said, "Getting into your dad's head, I think he leaves them up as proof that he's being productive.")

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Wascally Wabbits

EDITOR'S NOTE: One of my favorite things about working at the candy store is working with my sister because no matter how many years we do the work together she continues to have me doubled over in laughter with her funny observations and inner monologues. Here's a peek into some of the fun I get to have every day.

When spring arrives and the Easter bunny starts calling, at the candy shop that means one thing: it’s rabbit season.

Every day of production we have at least one person (and as many as three) devoted solely to making our solid chocolate rabbits. We use metal molds that fasten together with small clamps until the chocolate solidifies and a new bunny is born.

I’ve been lucky enough to be the head of bunny production in the past, but this year that duty falls to one of our lovely employees, Beth. She has the privilege of spending 40 hours a week devoted to clamping, filling, unclamping, trimming and packaging hundreds of chocolate rabbits.

With three people, this job isn’t too bad. It’s even relaxing. With two, it’s still pretty good. Chatting the day away while filling molds with delicious chocolate. Not bad.

It’s those days when you’re the only person in the bunny room when the bunnies start to get to you and they begin to take on lives of their own.

There’s Alice, of course, who is the most stuck up chocolate there is. She’s the only human form we make and she thinks this makes her better than the rest. And her rabbit friend? He doesn’t even have a name.

Peter is the public’s favorite, but he’s hiding a big secret. He may look like an innocent schoolboy, but he’s really an undercover detective sent from the government to discover our chocolate secrets.

There’s only one real Lamb with Bell, the rest are just clones (but we’re not telling which one is the original).

And then there’s Smooth Fat Standing Rabbit. Poor, poor Smooth Fat Standing Rabbit. He has self-image issues and he’s not very confident, because whenever anyone talks about him, they call him fat.

And to think, next to his counterpart, Large Smooth Standing Rabbit, he looks tiny.

But nobody would dare call Large Smooth Standing Rabbit fat. Nobody.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Chocolate, Beer & Adventure Gear!

EDITOR'S NOTE: In this entry, I will recap the events of March 1, 2012. The first Chocolate, Beer and Adventure Gear Night in Richmond, to benefit the American Cancer Society.

My great-grandfather Arthur Anderson moved his business, Anderson's Candy Shop, out to the tiny Village of Richmond back in 1926. He picked the hamlet based on a hot-tip from one of his wife's friends.

Richmond, she said, was going to be the next boom town!

Well, let's just say that we are still waiting on the boom.

The population was measured to be 1,091 at the 2000 U.S. Census.

So, when you are situated in a beautiful little town like we are, but you want to attract more customers than might naturally stroll past your door, you learn to creatively think.

For us this has meant a Facebook page, website and touring with local county fairs. But this winter, the folks over at Antioch Fine Wine & Liquors in the next town over and our neighbors at 2K Adventure Gear came to us with a new idea.

They proposed we combine marketing and products for a good cause and invite everyone who shopped at our stores.

They wanted to host a free tasting event/fundraiser.

We immediately settled on the American Cancer Society as benefactor.

Each of our respective families had been touched by cancer in some way and on a personal note, my mother died of multiple organ failure due to cancer back in March of 2009.

With that settled, we planned our free chocolate and beer tasting event.

2K Adventure Gear would host so that guests could wander around the store while they sampled, peering into tents and trying out kayak paddles as they mulled about.
Larry over at Antioch Fine Wine would bring the craft beers and we would supply the chocolates.

The whole thing was free but we asked for a donation at the door the night of the event and also sold raffle tickets for a chance to win even more chocolate, beer and adventure gear giveaways. :)

And, at the end of our first Chocolate, Beer & Adventure Gear Night, we had raised $350 which was sent to the American Cancer Society.

Also, we had raised awareness of our businesses. What more could you ask for?!

In closing, if you were one of the folks who ventured out Thursday, March 1 to our first Chocolate, Beer and Adventure Gear night, we sincerely thank you.

We hope you had a great time, and want you to know that you made a difference in helping us to raise that $350!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Groundhog Day

EDITOR'S NOTE: This week, fans of Bill Murray and Harold Ramis' 1993 romantic comedy 'Groundhog Day' celebrated 20 years since the movie was filmed. The anniversary was extra special for us because our candy store was featured in the film! The following was published Feb. 3, 2012 in the The Northwest Herald of Crystal Lake, Ill. I'd describe the column (written by myself) as one part reminiscing and one part discovery. Read it and you'll understand :)

RICHMOND – I always get excited when someone brings up Harold Ramis’ 90s classic, “Groundhog Day.”

I love the movie.

It is one of the very first films I ever saw in a theater. Also, Bill Murray’s sardonic portrayal of TV weatherman Phil Conners stuck repeating the same day over and over again is perpetually funny to me.

What really gets me excited, though, is the fact that my family’s business appears in the film.

For about 26 seconds, immediately following the scene in which Conners delivers a ridiculous toast to “World Peace,” and during the scene in which Rita (Andie MacDowell) and Conners talk about white chocolate and the feeling of dejá vú, my family’s business – Anderson’s Candy Shop – is the set. Well, sort of.

You see, Anderson’s Candy Shop is located in Richmond – about 15 miles from Woodstock where, in 1992, crews with Columbia Pictures turned the downtown into a replica of Gobbler’s Knob, Penn., to shoot the film.

The legendary 26 seconds wasn’t actually filmed in our candy shop. The script for “Groundhog Day” called for a good old-fashioned candy shop as the setting for one of the film’s scenes. Since downtown Woodstock did not have a candy store that fit the bill, we were invited to set up a fake shop and be featured in the movie.

I was about 7 years old at the time and completely oblivious to the “big-timers,” as my dad, Leif Anderson, called the people who first asked us to provide props.

All I knew was that my dad took us up to the Woodstock Square one day to show us some fake snow and, more importantly, that my family’s business, my family and in a twice-removed-sort-of-way I myself, were going to be in a film.

I was excited then and I still am now.

Curious to me until recently, however, was the fact that neither my father nor my uncle have ever seemed as excited. Until a few nights ago, when I interviewed them for background on this column, I never understood why.

My uncle, Lars Anderson, called being involved in “Groundhog Day” an “interesting process.”

My dad explained what the family and the business actually had to do.

“We had to decorate an entire store and produce enough candy to set it up as if it were a real operating candy shop,” he said.

“We put up historic photos from our then-74 years in business and had to keep it set up like that for a month while they were shooting various shots,” he continued.

I also learned that our business trained extras to act like real candy shop employees. When filming was over, we did all of the cleanup and had to put the unrented space back into the shape we found it in.

After I further quizzed the patriarchs on their brush with Hollywood, I came to realize why the 26 seconds had been so huge for me and why it was lackluster for them.

I had no expectations for the film, or our part in it.

When I first saw “Groundhog Day” in the theater, I was thrilled to recognize the candy that I loved and to see sepia-toned photos of my grandfather and great-grandfather on the wall of a real scene in a real movie – no matter how brief the scene.

It was such a big deal to me. In fact, I remember sitting in the Genoa Theatre (formerly in Genoa City, Wis.) and watching the movie twice just to get a second glimpse.

For Dad and Lars, though, the 26 seconds was a letdown.

“I have to admit, we were horribly crestfallen to see how little exposure there actually was for us,” Lars said.

“For the amount of work we put in and the expense the filmmakers went to ... we were imagining we would be featured more. But really it was not any different than being silverware on a table in a restaurant in a movie,” he said.

Even though our shop provided props and our name, “Anderson’s Candy Shop,” was actually visible in the film, when the movie first came out, most people looked up Anderson’s candy store in western Pennsylvania, rather than us.

Looking back on the film with fresh eyes, I understand now my dad and uncle’s muted-enthusiasm to our involvement in the movie. And I wonder if other local businesses deal with the same mixed emotions.

However, even after finding all this out, for me, that 26 seconds (and the film in general) is still something to get excited about.

Have a memory you'd like to share? Email Katie at or leave a comment below.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Foiling a credit card scam, chocolate, and Vietnam

EDITOR'S NOTE: Typically, my father Leif is in the newspaper for one of two reasons - our chocolate has been awarded; or, as a local businessman and active citizen, he's sounding off at a town meeting about traffic patterns, development, etc. This is a bit different ... Dad recently alerted the Federal Bureau of Investigations to a credit card scam! The following was published last week in the The Northwest Herald of Crystal Lake, Ill.

Chocolate for Vietnam? Richmond candy shop targeted in scam


RICHMOND - The first order for chocolates to be sent to Vietnam was odd. But by the fifth or sixth, Leif Anderson knew something was up.

“Vietnam is a problem any time of year because of temperatures,” said Anderson, who owns Anderson’s Candy Shop in Richmond.

Even if the chocolate is headed to a cooler area, there’s no guarantee that it won’t go through a more tropical area depending on the route.

Fifteen orders to be shipped to Vietnamese cities came in around Christmas under 15 different names from locations across the United States. Canada, as well. The total was between $1,300 and $1,400.

It was a credit card scam, and with some detective work on his own, Anderson was able to track down 13 of the 15 credit-card holders. Only two of them knew their information had been stolen.

Anderson said he had the credit-card holders’ names and ZIP codes. They were of different demographics: young, old, male, female, American, Canadian.

One of the scam’s targets was a high school junior whose mother answered the phone and insisted that her kid didn’t have a credit card.

The mom found out otherwise, Anderson said.

“Two of them were upset that I could get their information and thought I was the one trying to steal their credit card,” Anderson said. “I said, ‘No, I already have your credit card.’ Later, they all called back and were thankful.”

Anderson didn’t fill the orders, and the charges ended up being reversed, he said.

“If they notify their credit-card company, they’re not liable, which is the reason I was trying to get through to them,” he said.

The scam was sophisticated enough that fake phone numbers were used, as well as fake email addresses that would reply when confirmation was sent.

FBI spokesman Ross Rice declined to comment on any specific case, but said that without a financial loss, there is no federal prosecution.

“We have so many cases like this,” Rice said. “There has to be a substantial economic loss to one or more individuals.”

The FBI also doesn’t have jurisdiction to conduct an investigation outside the United States, Rice said.

“If a fraudulently purchased item goes somewhere outside the U.S., we have to rely on the local law enforcement in the affected country,” he said.

But a scam involving chocolate was a new one to him.

“They could have been testing to see if the credit cards would go through, but that’s really the only thing I can think of,” he said.

The idea had occurred to Anderson, who was wondering where the profit is in such a scam.

“It’s very puzzling,” he said. “We’re all very suspicious here now. If something doesn’t smell right, you always check first.”