When John Ryan, production manager at Ferrara’s Itasca plant, came home, his kids would sometimes drag their friends over to him for a quick sniff.
“Come over and smell my dad!” they’d say. “My dad works for a candy company!”
The ability to impress your children is only one benefit of running a candy factory. Employees — and yes, they’re hiring, like everybody else — get free samples.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to do with my recent visit to Ferrara — in mid-May, not so recent. I’d seen Nerds — little granules of hard candy — being made in big drums, bright yellow, hot pink and cool aqua, then poured into tiny rattling boxes. And Sweetarts, those little squat pastel cylinders, packed into clear wrapped plastic cylinders. Cherry ropes running through a production line as long as a football field.
Not the sort of inside information the world is eager to consume. I kept waiting for a break in the awful news to slip this sweet interlude into the paper. Isn’t mid-July supposed to be sleepy? The president off on vacation, glimpsed wearing a big Panama hat while patting a bison, on some ranch in Wyoming?
But no. For nearly two months, one damn thing after another. I woke up Sunday morning and assessed my options. The headline on the Sun-Times was “TOGETHER WE GRIEVE,” with six pages of coverage of the Highland Park July Fourth parade massacre. States scrambling over each other to smother women’s reproductive rights. The Ukraine war still grinding on. Boris Johnson out as British prime minister, after mass resignations in his administration, the kind of selfless move that only adds a new layer of shame to our Republican leaders. Shinzo Abe assassinated in Japan, a nation of 125 million people that had one — one! one! ONE! — murder by gun last year. Maybe I should just write that sentence over and over, 25 times, then call it a day.
To continue reading, click here.
I buy Lemonheads & Ju-ju-bes made by Ferrara in Mexico.ReplyDelete
lemonheads are my faves-I remember when they were in Forest ParkReplyDelete
Ferrara still has a factory in Forest Park and an outlet store on Harrison Street, about a block West of Harlem.Delete
I think they were called Ferrara Pan in the Sixties, and the son of one of the owners lived in my dorm. They made those candy-coated peanuts called Boston Baked Beans...which are still around. I was addicted to them for years. The packaging was...and is...a small red cardboard box that's designed to look like Wrigley's red brick outfield wall...or a Chicago alley. And after the product within was consumed, the box doubled as a kazoo. Maybe it still does.Delete
Today's post brought to you by the American Dental Association and the American Sugar Alliance.ReplyDelete
Check out the Fanjul brothers of Florida. They have earned their riches off the backs of immigrants and grants from the Feds. Carl Hiaasen wrote a great satire on them. Was a very good book but a so-so movie... Strip Tease.Delete
The Fanjuls pollute the hell out of Florida. Their sugar field's runoff pollutes the Everglades. They also bribe Congress to keep sugar tariffs high, so the US consumer pays at least 30¢ a pound for sugar, while the rest of the world pays about a nickel a pound!Delete
And I learned about the Fanjuls polluting the Glades from Hiaasen's weekly Miami Herald columns, which he stopped last year.
Wasn't the idea of having to do PR for Pixie Stix in your unpublished masterpiece, Hunger in America?ReplyDelete
I guess my candy-eating days were mostly over by 1983, because while I had a fondness for SweeTarts, I considered Nerds to be a newfangled abomination. Not that I'm old, or anything! ; )ReplyDelete
Interesting that SweeTarts developed from Pixy Stix. Clearly, popping a "pill" was an advancement from the "hypodermic for sugar"...