Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Passing the torch at Nandy's Candy

Emmie King took over Nandy's Candy from her mother.
The chocolate torch has been passed from one generation to the next at Nandy's Candy.  Jacksonians have enjoyed chocolate-covered strawberries on Valentine's Day, snow-cones in the summer,  and other sinful confectioneries  for 36 years since Nancy King opened her store.  Her daughter Emmie King took the reins of running the store she grew up in earlier this year as Nandy's Candy continues to grow. 

Nancy King founded Nandy's Candy in 1980 at Colonial Mart Shopping Center.  Emmie said her mother worked at a candy store in Houston, Texas when she was in high school and discovered her love for making candy. Nancy later married and moved to Mississippi with her husband.  She wanted to open a candy store in Jackson and sought a franchise from her former boss but he refused to give her permission to open one.  However, he allowed the Kings to return to his store so he could teach them the craft of making candy.  The Kings returned to Jackson and sought financing to open a candy store.  The banks refused to lend money to Nancy so she could open her store but she caught a break when John Maloney (of the Cowboy Maloney family) at Deposit Guaranty National Bank approved her loan. 

Open for business

Nancy became a pillar of the Jackson community as she made and sold her treats for decades.  Her ads for chocolate covered strawberries became a fixture in the local newspapers every February.  Kids lined up outside during the summer to buy snow-cones.  She even ran for State Senate in 1999.  She lost but gave the unspent campaign funds back to the donors. Imagine a candidate doing that in 2016!

The store moved from Colonial Mart to its current location in Maywood Mart more than 15 years ago after its building was torn down and the landlord moved the store to the back of the shopping center.  A gift store closed in Maywood Mart and Nancy King seized the chance to move to a better location.

Emmie King said "As a child I loved it (making candy).  I enjoyed being here, growing up, and being a part of a business where you were making something.  I am a hands-on person.  It sounds funny but I went to art school.  There is an artistry in working with chocolate.  The ability to create something from the raw materials of chocolate and sugar to make something attractive that people can consume but in a different way.".

"I love the creative process.  The craft of making candy is becoming more mechanical where it's made in large factories but there is a resurgence of people making candies" said Emmie.  It is somewhat similar to the emergence of craft beer.  The large corporations dominated the beer industry with bland flavors and aggressive marketing until small breweries and entrepreneurs began experimenting, creating, and serving local customers who had a thirst for higher quality brew. 

Emmie said Nandy's Candy is unique as small candy stores populate the Northeast but are few in the South.  She enjoys making her store part of the Jackson community.  Business is strong and allows Emmie to have two full-time and 10 part-time employees.  Emmie is the candy-maker for the store.  She lives in Belhaven with her husband and two children.  Her seven year-old son serves as the Taster-in-Chief for Nandy's Candy.

Halloween is coming
 The most popular items sold are the salted caramels, American truffles, and chocolate covered strawberries.  They are made from scratch throughout the year.  All candies are made without preservatives.  Nandy's Candy sells up to five hundred products throughout the year.

Emmie said the internet is changing how the world does business and her store is no exception.  One of the first things Emmie did after she took over the company was improve its online presence and marketing.  The store had a website that contributed little to the bottom line.  The website was torn down and rebuilt before Valentine's Day this year.  She said Nandy's Candy now uses its website, Facebook, Snapchat, and other social media tools to sell candies.  Online sales rose as the amount of products offered on the website increased.  However, Emmie may look to the future but does not ignore what worked in the past. Embracing technology does not mean Emmie turned away from the personal touch that graced Nandy's Candy for decades such as the call list.

The torch has indeed passed but it will burn even brighter if Emmie King has her way. 

Store information: Nandy's Candy is open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM in Maywood Mart. 

Credit: Local photographer Tristan Duplichain shot and edited all photos used in this post. 


Better than watching the making of sausage or bills


Service with a smile


Candyman said...

Great story, KF. Thanks for that. Good for Nancy! Just thankful to see the store is staying in the family. That's becoming more and more rare these days.

Sweet tooth said...

Thanks for the reminder to support local, non-chain establishments

Anonymous said...

Wonderful store!

Anonymous said...

Great story about one of the good things in life. When I was in law school, I lived near there and a fellow law student also worked at Nandy's. Glad to see they're still open and doing well.

Anonymous said...

Great Story!

Johnny Weir said...

Very sweet story.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful, Nandy's holds a place in my heart as a happy part of my post adalesense and young adulthood. It was the place to go for birthdays, holidays and special treats for my friends and me.

Anonymous said...

Will the landlord run her off too?

Anonymous said...

Way overpriced

Anonymous said...

I like to eat half a dozen chocolate glazed berries and then jog half a mile at the nearby park.

Anonymous said...

9:18 They seem to be getting along well without your business.

Anonymous said...

Sez the guy who buys chocolate covered cherries at Walgreens for his wife's anniversary.

Anonymous said...

Grew up riding my bike to Nandys Candy to get a sno come or treat, they were next to a fish market in building that was torn down. Great memories, glad they are still around. Man it was great too be a kid in the 70's-80's... My kids have missed out on a lot.

Anonymous said...

"Someone here will even slag on Nandy's," I thought. Yep.

Lesli B. said...

Love this store and admire this family of entrepreneurs so much! I can vividly remember the sweet, velvety taste of Nandy's specially molded custom chocolates we served at our wedding. You can absolutely taste the love and quality ingredients put into every piece. It's truly an art form. Emmie, I'm sure your family is so proud to have you behind the counter and putting your artistic touch on the future of Nandy's. You and Jenny are so fortunate to have been taught this artisan skill over the years by a master. Best Wishes for Nandy's continued success! Sounds like your son may have an interest in being a third generation candy maker!?! I know mine would be happy to fill in as tasters anytime!

F mickns said...

Way overpriced? Have you tasted the candy?

Remember the competition id Godiva, not Snickers.

I hesitate to ask, but how is Nancy?

Leslie Precht said...

Nandy's candy is one of my favorite memories from childhood. Everyone at St. Andrews got chocolate initials or ones favorite individual flavor jelly bellies for our birthdays! Jenny was one of my classmates! Thank you for carrying the tradition on! Making wonderful memories for others lasting 25 years! What other store could be so memorable?

Suscribe to latest on JJ.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya


Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel

Who is the hottest reporter?


Who is the Hottest Reporter in Jackson?

Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS