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Making That Birthday Gift Box So Much Sweeter

We’ve been making lots of candy-coated changes here at Blair Candy over the last few months, including moving soon into our brand new candy warehouse. We’ve just debuted another “new” – our Candy By Decades section on our website! We say with pride and affection that we’re pretty nuts about candy, and we’ve long been in wonderment on the different types of sweets that have blossomed from various decades over the last century. Doesn’t it just make sense that Fun Dip debuted in the same decade as when we needed a little “carefree” in our lives post-WWII?

We found ourselves chatting with many a customer on candy gift ideas, including offering up gift suggestions that relate to the gift recipient’s birth year or the decade they grew up in, so we figured, hey, why not make it easy and create a category of candy from each decade? A great birthday gift idea is to pair candy from the decade they were born or grew up in with a small gift that fits into that decade, as well! We put our heads together and came up with some awesome ideas for you:

  • Candy From The 20s: Pair some Caramel Creams, Chiclets, and Clark Bars with Betty Boop memorabilia, a typewriter key bracelet, or a Babe Ruth figurine.
  • Candy From The 30s: Combine delish Candy Buttons, PayDay bars, and Snickers with a so retro “tick tock” cat clock, Fedora hat, or a sleek cocktail shaker.
  • Candy From The 40s: Wrap up Junior Mints, Bazooka bubble gum, and Fun Dip in a package with a vintage pin-up girl poster, WWII coin collection, and a pack of Coca-Cola in the original Coke “bottle” look.
  • Candy From The 50s: Put a bow on a gift of Candy necklaces, Dum Dum lollipops, and Satellite Wafers by pairing it with a whimsical Gumby and Pokey set, Silly Putty, and a retro apron.
  • Candy From The 60s: Reflect on one fun decade by combining a gift of Gummy Swedish Fish, Fruit Stripe Gum, and Twizzlers with a tie-dyed shirt, Beatles poster, and a space shuttle figurine.
  • Candy From The 70s: Break that disco ball out and give a gift of PopRocks, Laffy Taffy, and Bubble Yum, along with a disco ball keychain, lava lamp, or anything with “groovy” written on it!
  • Candy From The 80s: Celebrate this neon-hued decade with a gift of Gummy Bears, Runts, and Nerds, paired with a so-fun Atari video game, Pac-Man wind-up toys, and a Rubik’s cube.

These are just a few ideas that our sugar-filled team came up with – what are some Candy By Decade candy and gift pairings that you’ve gifted or would love to gift?

Blair Candy Cares–Do You?

Earth Day is April 22nd, and we at BlairCandy.com want to do our part, and help you do yours, to give a little extra TLC to Mother Earth. It is easy to make some small changes to make a big impact!

In the past, we used packing peanuts for securing our shipments. Now, we use packing material that is comprised of 60% recycled material for almost all of our shipments; gone is the styrofoam, because this new option is made from paper!  BlairCandy.com recycles cardboard, too.

What You Can Do?

Switch from styrofoam and plastic products to paper ones, such as eco-friendly hot dog boats and earth friendly French fry trays.

It sounds simple, but to quote Woodsy The Owl, “Give a hoot; don’t pollute!” Habits start young, so be sure to teach children from early on that candy and gum wrappers go in the trash basket, not on the ground.

Think about volunteering for a local “Adopt A Roadway” initiative with your family or workplace and help keep the shoulders of the roads clean and clear of debris or trash. It’s good publicity for an employer, and a great way for children and adults to get involved in the community around the home. Contact AdoptAHighway.net or your local city or town hall for information.

Use biodegradable paper bags instead of plastic ones.  One plastic bag can literally take hundreds of years to break down, and may not ever fully decompose. With an estimated 100 billion plastic bags used every year, you can imagine what kind of problem we have on our hands.

Buy in bulk – with bulk candy, of course! It saves on packing materials, and is lighter on your wallet, too, as the average cost per unit decreases when the quantity in the package increases. Also, don’t be wasteful. If you have leftover candy (think Easter, Halloween, etc.) or supplies (Little League snack stands, family picnics, etc.) that you can’t use, don’t trash them; donate to a local shelter instead. You would be surprised at how much the little things are appreciated by your fellow citizens, and by good old Mother Earth.

Do We Eat Too Much Easter Candy? Never!!

We had the pleasure of coming across a hop-tastic Easter candy infographic posing the question “Do We Eat Too Much Easter Candy?” Sure, many of us nosh on our fair share of scrumptious candy on Easter morning…and Easter afternoon…and Easter night, but candy is all about moderation. Like all things, enjoy candy throughout the year in normal quantities, and when it comes to candy-rich holidays, like Easter, Valentine’s Day, and Halloween, treat yourself to all the seasonal candies till your heart’s content. Life’s short, so sweeten it with candy ;-)

The candy facts we crave:

  • 16 billion Jelly Beans are created just for Easter
  • 90 million chocolate bunnies are produced each year for Easter
  • 4 million Peeps and Chicks are produced for Easter – each day!
  • Each household spends around $131 on Easter candy

Do you concur with these candylicious numbers? How much do you typically spend on Easter candy? What kind of Easter treats do you usually choose- Jelly Beans, Peeps, chocolate bunnies, Reeses Eggs, etc…

Share it with us by leaving a comment!

Easter by the Numbers

Displayed on Care2.com, created by DegreeSearch.org, and credited to Robert Banh

Nello Ferrara, Candy Great, Passes Away at 93

We typically like the keep the Blair Candy blog a pretty happy place, but when browsing the web this morning we came across a spot of sad news – Nello Ferrara, the candy creator of timeless favorites Atomic Fire Balls and Lemonheads, passed away on February 3rd. The Washington Post reports that the 93 year old “died Friday at his home in the Chicago suburb of River Forest surrounded by his family.”

While the news of Ferrara’s passing is upsetting, what we learned about him in the rest of the article and several other articles was anything but! It makes us smile to know the man behind many candies we grew up on and still love today was as sweet as the sugar that is the foundation of his tasty treats. His son, Salvatore Ferrara, shared with The Washington Post that Nello was known for his daily singing, which was shared with those beyond the family when he would turn on the serenading charm at restaurants. Clearly a man who understood the beauty and importance of family, he and his wife Marilyn were married 63 years, and had “mandatory family dinners every Sunday.”

As for what they ate at those Sunday dinners? An article from the Forest Park Review quoted his granddaughter Alana as saying, “He’d be standing in front of the stove cooking for his grandchildren and kids, making spaghetti and meatballs with gravy and sausage. Because that’s what he did. He was a phenomenal cook.” As for what he sang? The article names favorites including Send in the Clowns and Wind Beneath My Wings. Alana mentions that he sang Wind Beneath My Wings to his wife, “and he meant it every single time.”

We’ll always be grateful to Nello for the delicious treats he brought to the candy dishes of our past and present, but are most moved by what a fantastic person he seemed to be. We’re sending warm wishes to his family and friends in this time of loss, and hoping the wonderful memories and strong family connection that was so important to Nello will bring them peace.

Chew on This: Sugar Free Gum Can Help Keep Cavities Away!

I love sugar free gum. My desk drawer, coat pockets and purse are always well-stocked with at least a few pieces. I chew it when I’m stressed, I chew it when I’m happy, I chew it even when it’s not considered polite to chew it (Sorry, Mom!) But for as many pieces as I pop into my mouth without much thought throughout the day, there is one time it is a very conscious decision – after eating. I don’t always have the time or tools to brush, but I’ve always got a piece of gum! And as it turns out, chewing gum may actually be helping me keep my teeth in tip-top shape. I’d heard this before, but feared it was just an old wives’ tale!

I recently came across an answer from Dr. Anthony Komaroff on CantonRep.com. The question? “I always thought chewing gum was bad for my teeth. But then a friend told me it actually helps prevent cavities. Who’s right?” Well, given the title of the article – Ask Dr. K: Sugarless gum can help prevent cavities – I’d say her friend is right!

The doctor goes on to explain that sweets-loving bacteria live in our dental plaque, and “get the energy they need to live by consuming sugars in the foods you eat.” But these bacteria aren’t just your run-of-the-mill freeloaders living off your hard-earned lunch! No, they aren’t content to just eat your sugars and call it a day, they have to take it one step further and produce acids when they eat your sugar. And the acids? Those can lead to the big bad of the dental world – Cavities! But your body doesn’t want these acids to win; it has a vested interest in protecting itself. So it brings saliva to the rescue – saliva that “washes away the acids.” And when you chew gum, you get your saliva production kicked up a gear, giving your body more ammo against the acid.

Just be sure that if you’re really interested in preserving your teeth you reach for the sugarless gum. An occasional piece of sugared gum can be enjoyed just like candy, but chewing it for long periods regularly will just be giving those bacteria a bigger bite. Luckily, your sugar free gum options are extensive and delicious! There’s Dentyne Pure, a personal favorite – Sugarless Bubble Yum, a kid-friendly classic pick – Trident Splash, with a flavorful middle – Orbit gum, an oh-so-popular pick (I’m chewing Maui Melon Mint as I type!) – and many, many more. Now get chewing, everyone! :)

BlairCandy.com is Celebrating Its 12th Birthday in 2012!

Do you recognize that logo in the image above? You just might if you’ve been shopping with us since the beginning at BlairCandy.com! We took a little trip through the Wayback Machine at Archive.org to take a nostalgic peek at what BlairCandy.com looked like back when George W. Bush was taking his first crack at the whole President thing, Train was filling the radio airwaves with “Drops of Jupiter” and we were all getting comfortable with being among those that got the opportunity to live in a new millenium! Yes, the year was 2001, and BlairCandy.com was celebrating it’s first birthday. Needless to say, there were oh-so-stuffed goodie bags full of candy at the party!

While our brick and mortar store here in Altoona, PA has been selling sweet treats for 73 years, and certainly isn’t about to retire, our online store hasn’t quite hit its teenage years just yet. In the world of online stores, 12 is actually pretty mature, although you might not recognize that maturity if you were at the office during one of the many practical jokes we play on one another! But when the time comes to get down to business, we set the jokes aside for a bit. We’re always learning, changing and evolving to better serve you, and aren’t afraid to mix things up in the quest to create the best buying experience for our customers. That experience includes bringing you tried-and-true tasty treats at pocket-friendly prices, new products that just might become old favorites, and creating an easy-to-navigate site that lets you find what you’re looking for fast while also being easy on the eyes! We see lots of ugly sites out there, and we don’t ever want to be one of them. J

To celebrate our 12th year online, we’re having a virtual party, and you’re all invited! Keep an eye on the Blair Candy Twitter, Blair Candy Facebook and Blair Candy emails for more information on superior sales and fun contests. We may have sprouted a few more gray hairs around here since we opened our online doors in the year 2000, but we still know how to have a good time!

Out With The Old, And In With The New – New Candy For 2012!

 

2011 was a banner year for all of us here at Blair Candy, and we couldn’t be more thankful for it! We appreciate all of our loyal customers and can’t wait to ring in 2012. As the champagne corks pop and the bubbles flow this New Year’s Eve, our candylicious team is excited for all the New Candy for 2012! As you’re belting out Auld Lang Syne when that glittering ball drops (or prying your eyelids open to stay awake!), come along with us as we get ready for the sweets 2012 has in store for us.

M&M's Mint Dark Chocolate

M&M’s Mint Dark Chocolate – Mint and chocolate have long been refreshing pals, and they’re coming to us as the small, round chocolate candy favorites that we know and love. Dark chocolate is also known for its health benefits, so let’s clink to health and M&M’s Mint Dark Chocolate at midnight!

3 Musketeer Coconut – I certainly want 3 Musketeer’s signature chocolate-coated nougat to be a part of my 2012, and now that they’re adding coconut flavor to that nougat? Oh, what a slice of heaven. It has 40% less fat than most candy bars, so I can still stick to those weight loss New Year’s resolutions I’ll totally not keep this year!

Jolly Rancher Crunch n Chew – Jolly Rancher has continually reinvented itself, from hard candies to gummies and lollipops. We’d love to add some jolly to our 2012, and with their hard outside and chewy inside, we’re ready to sink our teeth into 365 days of cherry, green apple, watermelon, and blue raspberry.

Pez Muppets – Did you love the Muppets movie as much as we did? We can’t get enough of Kermit, Miss Piggy, Elmo and the gang, and they’re in Pez form for 2012! Keep a pack in your pocket, and you’ll be in for a sugary delight to make your 2012 a candy-coated one.

Our New Year’s resolution this year? Simple – make it a sweet one. As Ernestine Ulmer’s delicious quote goes, “Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.” Nostalgic Candy will never be forgotten, but oh, we’re toasting to a 2012 filled with candy and chocolate fabulousness. Happy New Year!

Women Are From Venus, New American Candy Jobs Are From Mars!

If you haven’t heard the exciting news already, Mars Chocolate is building a new chocolate factory in Topeka, Kansas – their first new American chocolate factory in 35 years! At a time when Americans need jobs more than almost ever, this $250 million investment will bring 200 jobs right out of the gate, with numbers possibly rising to as many as 1,000 jobs moving forward. That’s a lot of jobs and a lot of candy, and those are 2 of our favorite things!

We first read this exciting story in the abc NEWS/Money section of their website in an article titled, “Made in America: From Candy to Candles, Companies Bring Jobs Home”.  The article goes on to explain that this won’t simply be any old factory, but a “facility to meet LEEDS [Leadership in Energy and Environment Design] Gold standards for construction and building efficiency as well as to take advantage of sustainable energy resources that the state of Kansas has to offer.” New jobs, American-made candy, and environmental-friendliness? I may have to go grab a Milky Way from the refrigerator just to calm down!

Other companies in non-candy industries are also mentioned in the article for moving jobs back to the US as well, including Farouk, a popular hair care company, and Chesapeake Bay Candle, who will be moving back to Maryland (where their name will make a lot more sense!). In addition to increasing jobs, there is much mention of increasing overall quality, a word that is often very accurately associated with “Made in America”.

We hope you’re all as excited as we are here at Blair Candy about the new Mars Chocolate factory on the horizon! It’s important to let ourselves celebrate news of new jobs and industry at every turn, whether it is one new job created, 200 or 2,000. Big changes might not happen overnight, but as long as we’re headed in the right direction, they can and will happen…one candy bar, curling iron, and candle at a time. :)

How Many Copies Would You Make if You Were Printing Chocolate?

It’s tough to imagine how long the line for the office printer would be if it was creamy, dreamy chocolates landing in the tray instead of plain old paper, but I’m going to guess much longer would sum it up! Before you get too excited, we unfortunately haven’t heard that there is an office printer update in the works that involves chocolate, as exciting as that would indeed be. However, we did just come across an interesting article in the Food section at HuffingtonPost.com – The World’s First 3D Chocolate Printer.

After watching the video detailing the chocolate printer imagined by scientists at the University of Exeter, we couldn’t help but make countless mental notes of all the custom chocolates we would love to create! The process and purpose of the chocolate printer is explained by Dr. Liang Hao and Professor Richard Everson of University of Exeter. The 3D printing technology is similar to that used in the production of metals and plastics, and Hao explains that using this technology for the purpose of creating custom chocolates will help more people learn about the technology as “chocolate is a fantastic medium to send out the message.” We can’t help but agree! Chocolate is a fantastic medium, period.

So how would chocolate printing work exactly? The idea is that it would actually be quite simple. Consumers like you and I would be able to download a piece of software in which we could sketch the chocolate design of our dreams. Once we had created our sweet masterpiece, we would press a button to deliver our design specs to a chocolate machine that would reside in a chocolate shop. The machine would make our chocolate-y dreams a reality, and we would go pick it up shortly thereafter, ready to gift or enjoy ourselves!

So why chocolate? Everson elaborates to include that this is a safe way to get people interacting with the technology, saying, “Chocolate is a very easy place to explore how that might happen because chocolate isn’t a safety critical system in any way. We wouldn’t want people designing airplanes online, but of course, chocolate, if it goes horribly wrong, then all you have is a mess of chocolate…” Mmmm…a mess of chocolate. Sounds like this plan is good no matter what happens!

If the chocolate printer becomes a reality at your local chocolate shop, what will your first custom creation be? I think ours would be a chocolate rendition of Captain Candy, Blair Candy’s resident superhero! But we’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Blair Candy Announces Our New Custom Candy Bar Box!

Our sugar-powered candy minds are always working overtime to think of the next sweet offering to add to our online shelves. And recently, a big idea hit us so hard that if we were piñatas there would be Tootsie Rolls flying across town! It wasn’t a candy itself that our lineup was lacking; it was a different way to buy candy that makes sense for a lot of our customers.

Variety is the sugar of life, and sometimes we can’t decide between a full box of Baby Ruth Candy Bars and a full box of Butterfinger Bars. Add to the confusion that a sweet tooth on the left has put in a request for some Skittles, while the molar on the right is ready for a workout that only Milk Duds can provide! It’s an all-out candy craving war in there, and if everyone is going to be happy it’s going to mean bringing a LOT of candy into the house. Hmmm…a LOT of candy, you say? Hmmm… OK, back to the topic at hand! Sometimes a lot of candy isn’t what you’re looking for, but you do want a lot of options. And that is what Blair Candy’s Custom Candy Bar Box is all about!

What is this Custom Candy Bar Box that’s blowing up the interwebs, you may ask? Only one of the funnest, most fabulous things we’ve ever rolled out! The idea is simple: for just $21.95 you get to create your own box of 24 full-sized candy favorites. As for the options, we are currently offering over 130 choices! You can double or triple up on any you like – there are no limits whatsoever to how many you choose of each particular candy. And within those 130+ offerings, there isn’t a single candy dud (except the Milk Duds, of course!). This is the candy you crave, the candy you love, the candy that has stood the test of taste and time and come out on the candy top! There are nostalgic candy choices, fresh faces on the candy market, timeless temptations, just about anything you can think of. And while it is named the Custom Candy Bar Box, your choices aren’t limited to bars alone. There’s Bonomo Turkish Taffy, Bottle Caps, Sixlets, Starburst, and so much more.

We think the options are limitless for our hottest new candy creation, and we hope you do too! From thoughtfully delicious birthday gifts, to pick-me-up presents for yourself and friends, this is an awesomely affordable way to bring the perfect palate-pleasing packs of pleasure to the table for less!

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