I know our candy tastes the best,” says Robert List, president of Hammond’s, flipping through the stack of yellowed cards. “And these family recipes are the reason.”
Hammond’s creates classic hard candies, chocolates, and caramels in its small factory at 4969 Colorado Blvd. The all-natural ingredients are transformed into dainty delights on antique machinery. One machine swirls gigantic, red-and-white striped, barbershop poles of sugar until the sticky mixture is cool enough to be hand twisted into brightly colored candy canes. The ribbon candy machine has been turning out crystal-colored stripes since the factory first opened its doors. Another machine creates miraculous “art candy,” tiny hard candies with detailed images of elves and Christmas trees in the centers. The plump, peppermint pillows are but the size of a dime, but without fail, each piece of candy has 16 stripes.
A darling of the gourmet food industry for years, Hammond’s handcrafted goodies are featured in catalogs from Williams Sonoma, Dean and Deluca, and Martha Stewart. In fact, each year, when Stewart creates her gingerbread house on television, Hammond’s candy canes line the lane. “Every product Martha sells she tests herself,” says List. “She’s been offering Hammond’s for years, so even though we’ve never met her, we know that she likes our candy.”