Carolina Candy Company, a local, family-owned company that has been in business for 14 years, has recently rebranded as Carolina Candy Company & Gifts.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic caused the company, which previously specialized primarily in wholesale orders of homemade chocolaty confections, to look at ways to restructure.
Restrictions on travel and large gatherings caused the cancellation of many of the large trade shows they normally attended, and wholesale orders plummeted as many gift shops that carried their products were forced to close.
Owners Kimberly and Charles Smith run the company along with their daughters Lauren Rich and Brooke Harrell. Rich said the family began thinking about how to sell not only their candy, but other great products from suppliers across the country.
“It got us thinking about how we could bring in the best of the best from other small businesses from across North Carolina and beyond,” Lauren Rich said.
Now in addition to their homemade truffles, turtles and toffee, every item in the store is made by another small business.
“We’re so excited to carry these products from people that we’ve met personally and who make the very best products we’ve come across,” Rich said. “We’ve tested thousands of products over the years and these really are the best of the best.”
Rich said the majority of the products they carry cannot be found anywhere else in town, and in many cases nowhere else in the state. They even carry a Bloody Mary mix from Texas that can’t be found anywhere else on the East Coast, Rich said.
Some of the savory items Carolina Candy Company & Gifts will be carrying this holiday season include Kim’s Cheese Straws from Georgia, a bacon salsa from Maryland, and a truffle hot sauce from California. Gift items include coastal-themed wine openers, soy candles and oyster knives.
In addition to the return of Carolina Candy’s turtles and truffles, as well as their four varieties of toffee, they will be carrying three new barks this season – a peppermint bark with white and dark chocolate and natural mint oil as well as crunchy peppermint, a milk chocolate pretzel and peanut bark, and a dark chocolate maple bacon bark.
“All of our candy is still made right here in the store,” Rich said. “So you still get the experience of seeing the homemade candy in addition to shopping for gifts.”
A selection of new baskets and boxes will be available online in the next week or so for national and international shipping, including a Foodie Lovers, a Chocolate Lovers, and a Taste of the South.
Customers are also encouraged to visit the store
to create their own boxes.
“I think everybody is really supporting shop small right now and shopping with us supports more than one small business,” Rich said. “We’ve got something for everybody at all price points.”
Rich said Carolina Candy Company & Gifts will have an in-store sale on Black Friday and will also be offering discounts that day on pre-orders for Christmas.
Now through the holidays, the store will be open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is located at 1045 S. Kerr Ave. Suite B.
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