Christmas is barely over and while most of us are recovering from a sugar rush food coma, the folks at Mary Sue Candies have their eyes set on Easter. For the next four weeks they will pump out candy-filled eggs by the tens of thousands every day to fill store shelves in time for the Easter bunny.
Since 1948, this Baltimore-based candy company has taken pride in producing chocolates and candies by mixing nothing but ingredients like butter, eggs and sugar into big copper pots that still cover the factory floor. "We keep with tradition and still use some of the original recipes," says William Buppert, president of Mary Sue Candies.
Yet Buppert knows that innovation is important and is always working on new product lines. "Something somewhere will trigger a memory and inspire a flavor." Some are a big hit -- like his pretzel bark with milk chocolate while others never make it out of the testing phase. Such was the case with his tortillas with chilli powder chocolates. "Three or four years ago adding chilli to chocolate was a huge trend- but it became clear that this combination was not working for us." Sticking with tried and true works and the 30-some employees are happy to be mixing, blending and forming in the vein of Willy Wonka. It's a sweet place to work where you can eat whatever you want while at work. But watch out for the "freshmen 15." Buppert tells us that it is typical for a new employee to eat everything sugary they can the first 2 weeks and then never really touch candy again.
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A fateful 1958 radio commercial helped put them on the map when Johnny Unitas sang the Mary Sue jingle two months before the Colts beat the NY Giants in what is know to many as "the best football game ever." The Mary Sue name and candy became a household name overnight. Today, their biggest seller is the pecan nougat egg (pictured below) and they produce over 60,000 of these sweet and sticky delights per day and are sold in Walmart, Kmart and CVS stores nationwide. You can also order online and have it delivered right to your door.