Feb 11, 2024 - Food and Drink

At Hammonds Candies, handmade candy is a 100-year Denver tradition

A Hammond's candymaker at work in the factory Feb. 7. Photo: John Frank/Axios

A Hammond's candymaker at work in the factory. Photo: John Frank/Axios

Nothing says love this time of year in Denver more than a heart lollipop from Hammond's Candies.

Why it matters: The century-old company calls itself the world's largest maker of handmade candies, and this time of year that means twirling, coloring and shaping sugar into treats of love.

The backstory: Carl T. Hammond Sr. started in 1920 on 15th and Platte Street in the Lower Highland neighborhood. Now, Hammond's is a global brand making candy for 30,000 retail stores from its factory on Washington Street in North Denver.

  • Christmas remains its busiest season — so much so that its famous candy canes in 30 flavors are made year-round to meet the demand.

What's new: This time of year, it's the heart-shaped lollipops and chocolate marshmallow hearts that fill its factory candy store, and soon its chocolate bunnies and eggs.

  • Its most popular item is its Mitchell Sweets, a bite-sized, marshmallow confection surrounded by caramel, followed by the traditional peppermint candy cane.
  • The current owner, Andrew Schuman, is expanding the company with the acquisition of other traditional candy brands, such as Virginia's Old Dominion Peanut Company, and expansion into snack packages.

The intrigue: You can see how the sweet treats are made at the Hammond factory.

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