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Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Candy company garners national attention

By Tom MurphyRocky Mount Telegram
Saturday, May 03, 2008

A Nashville candy manufacturer has received national acclaim.
Butterfields Candy Co. was featured on the Rachael Ray show as the "Snack of the Day" in April. Butterfields is a Sweet Concepts Co., based in the Nashville-Momeyer area.

"How many times have you picked up somebody from the airport, and they said, 'Hey, what about some of that North Carolina barbecue?'" Brooks West III, also known as J.W. Butterfield, said. "And the mission is on. And now there's a new twist on North Carolina foods – Butterfields hand-made hard candy."
Butterfields has been making hard candy history for more than eight decades, said West, owner and president of the company.
Butterfields practices capitalism in its truest sense, West said.
"Our company was founded in 1924 and continues to practice the Old World art of making hard-boiled sweets – commonly called hard candy," he said.
Butterfields markets to thousands of upscale food stores, gift basket specialists and other outlets across the country and overseas. The privately held company uses only products produced in the United States to manufacture more than 14 varieties of fruit-flavored hard candy under the brand name Buds and new products, like white chocolate Peach Bark and Peppermint Bursts.
U.S. candy makers, faced with high sugar prices, are finding it difficult to manufacture candy, Brooks said.
"We need to level the playing fields," he said. "U.S. candy makers pay almost 40 cents a pound for sugar while it costs eight to 12 cents per pound in other countries.
"The rising costs of gas and shipping also are up."
Rachael Ray is picking smaller, high-quality goods to feature, like Butterfields candy which is not shown all over the country like Snickers, for instance, West said. Dealing with Ray was a positive experience, he said.
"We still make candy by the batch, using pure cane sugar, with a combination of flavors abandoned by bigger companies because of cost," he said. "We make our candy in shiny, copper kettles.
"People try it. They like it and tell friends and neighbors, who tell their friends and neighbors. The tiny company that put Momeyer on the map is now famous from Manteo to Monterey, Calif."
Twice in recent years, Butterfields Candy has been a finalist in National Confectioners Concoction competitions and won twice during a Fancy Food Shop competition in New York.
West, a Tennessee native, bought Butterfields after acquiring the Wilson Candy Co., a candy company in New York and Shaker Country Meadowsweets.
"We moved out here in 1999 and built on to this factory," he said. "This is a good business on the rise."
West uses some money from sales to support the American Cancer Society.
"Many patients on chemotherapy lose their taste buds, and many enjoy our candy," he said.
West is a strong supporter of creating a level playing field in the United States candy industry.
"Involvement can help save jobs in the candy industry," he said. "It's our candy and our country."

by: Woodstock Candy


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