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R.G.W. Candy Company, Atlanta, IL

R.G.W. Candy Company, Atlanta, IL
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  • R.G.W. Candy Company, Atlanta, IL

    Post #1 - August 19th, 2006, 9:33 pm
    Post #1 - August 19th, 2006, 9:33 pm Post #1 - August 19th, 2006, 9:33 pm
    Hi,

    I love meeting people from other regions of Illinois. When I was a Master Gardner, my best opportunity was via the annual meeting held at various locations around the state. In the last two years, I have been participating in the Blue Ribbon Culinary Competition at the State Fair, which has pleasant side benefit of meeting people from central Illinois.

    I learned a competitor in Thursday's pie competition has a family who is in the candy business. She was telling me her family's candy operation is famous throughout Atlanta. I was thinking to myself Atlanta, Georgia, how could a small family candy business in central Illinois pull that off? That is until I realized she was referring to Atlanta, Illinois, which I now know is north of Lincoln and south of Bloomington with an Atlanta exit off I-55.

    R.G.W. Candy Company was founded in 1942, which today is a wholly family owned, operated and staffed. It was founded by Grandfather Wertheim who used candy recipes from The Blue Book on Home CandyMaking: Secrets of the Professional Candy Maker by Martin A. Pease. I had not heard of Pease though I since learned it is a well known candy maker in Central Illinois with several candy stores in Springfield.

    R.G.W. Candy Company operates a candy kitchen in a separate building on the family farm. They recently reopened the kitchen after a fire destroyed the original, which was in the basement of the family home. In their new kitchen, they installed a water cooled table to replicate the marble slabs used. This may be the only bow to technology, otherwise the kitchen is equipped with copper kettles to cook caramel or melt choloate and racks to allow chocolates to set, because this is largely a hand operation.

    They make their caramels from cream procured from a local dairy farm. When I arrived to their farm kitchen Friday night, they were preparing a batch of caramel to hand dip apples and make turtle-type candies. They had just made hand dipped fruits of blueberry and cherry, which were still setting. They provided samples to try of the still warm candies. Still waiting to be weighed and packed were batches of toffee, chocolate dipped caramels and chocolate pretzles.

    I would have loved to wait for the dipping process, I had the practical considerations of my general fatique and several hours driving to reach home. Instead I bought some peppermint bark, chocolate caramels, chocolate mints and toffee, which I have been 'evaluating' and found to be of quite high quality.

    If you are driving downstate on I-55, then please take these instructions with you:

    Exit I-55 at the Atlanta exit;
    Turn toward town;
    Turn left on Old Route 66 BEFORE gas station;
    Turn left at first left (not at the motel driveway) away from town,
    go under overpass, past cemetary to 4-way stop;
    Turn right, then look for candy canes (they will point you left, then right, proceed a bit further to a candy cane pointing to a house on the left);
    Turn left into driveway and go to the end where the candy kitchen and shop at end of drive.

    As my new friend Amy noted: "Dogs bark, then lick you to death." :D

    R.G.W. Candy Company
    1865 2200th Street
    Atlanta, IL
    217/648-2069 or 309/824-2492
    www.rgwcandyco.com

    http://www.peasescandy.com/

    Pease's Candy
    2501 Wabash Ave, Springfield, IL
    (217) 726-5473

    Pease's Candy Shops
    1701 S State St, Springfield, IL
    (217) 523-3721

    Pease's Candy Shops
    1871 E Sangamon Ave, Springfield, IL
    (217) 528-2810

    Pease's Candy Shop
    4753 Jeffory St, Springfield, IL
    (217) 529-2912

    Pease's Candy Shops
    3417 Freedom Dr, Springfield, IL
    (217) 793-9868

    Peases Candy Shop
    531 E Washington St, Springfield, IL
    (217) 241-3091

    Regards,
    Last edited by Cathy2 on August 22nd, 2006, 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #2 - August 19th, 2006, 9:59 pm
    Post #2 - August 19th, 2006, 9:59 pm Post #2 - August 19th, 2006, 9:59 pm
    C2,

    I share your passion for candy.

    The Wife knows this, and she also knows I like weird candy, so on a recent trip through Iowa, she found this delightful grotesquery:

    Image

    I have not eaten my Mallow Burger yet (it has almost 400 calories -- pretty much what a regular burger would have), and it's fun to look at so I like having it around. It's quite artistically done (note candy sesame seeds on bun crown).

    Not meaning to hijack this thread. Perhaps I will bring candy to the LTH Summer Picnic...

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #3 - August 19th, 2006, 10:20 pm
    Post #3 - August 19th, 2006, 10:20 pm Post #3 - August 19th, 2006, 10:20 pm
    HI,

    Gosh, hijack? Really a very normal drift from the op as per most threads!

    Very interesting candy. It is really quite a special marshmellow candy! Thanks for showing what it looks like!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #4 - August 20th, 2006, 5:15 am
    Post #4 - August 20th, 2006, 5:15 am Post #4 - August 20th, 2006, 5:15 am
    David Hammond wrote:C2,

    I share your passion for candy.

    The Wife knows this, and she also knows I like weird candy, so on a recent trip through Iowa, she found this delightful grotesquery:

    Image

    I have not eaten my Mallow Burger yet (it has almost 400 calories -- pretty much what a regular burger would have), and it's fun to look at so I like having it around. It's quite artistically done (note candy sesame seeds on bun crown).

    Not meaning to hijack this thread. Perhaps I will bring candy to the LTH Summer Picnic...

    Hammond


    These burger candies as well as a couple of other food forms are sold at the checkout counter at Tony's (at least the one on Belmont near Sol del Mexico).
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #5 - August 21st, 2006, 9:19 pm
    Post #5 - August 21st, 2006, 9:19 pm Post #5 - August 21st, 2006, 9:19 pm
    My daughter came over for dinner tonight and brought these excellent gummi Lightning Bugs.

    Image

    When you pick them up with the "magic tongs," they GLOW!!

    Image

    Most unprecedented.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #6 - August 22nd, 2006, 8:57 pm
    Post #6 - August 22nd, 2006, 8:57 pm Post #6 - August 22nd, 2006, 8:57 pm
    Hi Cathy,

    I love candy, particularly local and regional specialties.

    (Once, when driving across country with a college friend, I drove him crazy because I bought a different candy at every stop. He drew the line after I came back to the car with "Idaho Spuds...the candy that made Idaho famous." "How could I resist buying it?" I asked him, "I might never get back to Idaho again." He pointed out to me that we weren't in Idaho, but Iowa, and started rationing my candy purchases after that.

    Anywhoo...the link for RGW didn't work for me. Maybe their server's down, but could you double check your notes?

    Thanks!
  • Post #7 - August 22nd, 2006, 10:22 pm
    Post #7 - August 22nd, 2006, 10:22 pm Post #7 - August 22nd, 2006, 10:22 pm
    HI,

    Thanks! It's not their server, it is me who made a mistake transcribing the url. I edited the post above to the correct address:

    www.rgwcandyco.com

    I bought 5 bags of candy last week: 2 toffee, 1 peppermint bark, 1 caramel and 1 mint. The toffee and bark disapeered quickly ... ok, one bag of toffee went to Hawaii. I have since hidden the mint and caramel to meter the enjoyment.

    When I used to travel abroad regularly, I bought all the local candy I saw kids enjoying. My nieces kept the wrappers of those candies they liked most to remind me to buy more!

    I like your idea of buying regional candies as you travel about. I might borrow it!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #8 - August 23rd, 2006, 6:54 pm
    Post #8 - August 23rd, 2006, 6:54 pm Post #8 - August 23rd, 2006, 6:54 pm
    If you have a sweet tooth and enjoy mainstream, regional and gourmet candies, you might enjoy this blog http://typetive.com/candyblog/ which reviews candies. (It's almost guaranteed to increase your candy consumption.)
  • Post #9 - August 23rd, 2006, 7:31 pm
    Post #9 - August 23rd, 2006, 7:31 pm Post #9 - August 23rd, 2006, 7:31 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:I like your idea of buying regional candies as you travel about.


    I do this as well. In fact, the Idaho Spud mentioned above is one I particularly like when in the Northwest along with Aplets & Cotlets.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #10 - August 15th, 2010, 10:03 pm
    Post #10 - August 15th, 2010, 10:03 pm Post #10 - August 15th, 2010, 10:03 pm
    Hi,

    Driving north from Springfield, IL on old route US-66 (parallel and often underneath US-55). I found myself near Atlanta, IL. Naturally the car followed the candy canes to RGW Candy Company to visit my friend Amy.

    They have a new product selling like hotcakes: a full strip of fried bacon hand dipped in dark chocolate for a $1 each.

    At the Ohio and Illinois State Fairs, they have been offering chocolate dipped fried bacon. Heat and humidity dampened my spirits to track it down.

    Springfield Journal Register wrote:Chocolate-covered bacon

    You may have heard of chocolate-covered bacon being offered on the state fair circuit. This year it hit Illinois.

    Look for the stand that says “Chocolate Covered Bacon” on Grandstand Avenue in front of Barn 36. Plunk down $5, and you’ll get an Asian take-out container filled with five shards of cooked and frozen bacon that has been dipped in dark chocolate.

    “It’s thick-cut bacon, and the chocolate is sprinkled with sea salt. It’s sweet and salty. People say it tastes like a Skor bar or a chocolate-covered pretzel,” said Mary Moseley of Fire & Ice Concessions from Escondido, Calif. “I’ve never had anyone say they didn’t like it.”

    She recommends eating the snack frozen so it retains its crunch.

    There is a picture of the bacon shards, which seemed smaller than full size bacon pieces. I was happy to visit a State Fair friend as well as satisfy my curiosity for chocolate covered bacon.

    I do recommend a visit to Atlanta's best known chocolatier. It really is delightful.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #11 - December 21st, 2014, 7:29 pm
    Post #11 - December 21st, 2014, 7:29 pm Post #11 - December 21st, 2014, 7:29 pm
    There was a nice article in our local paper today about the RGW company:

    Hitting the sweet spot: Methods make for mellow morsels
    http://www.pantagraph.com/business/arti ... 82238.html

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