Being in the online candy business means that we get to connect with all sorts of interesting people around the world. But sometimes the best connections happen right in our own neighborhood. In constantly striving to make our site better and easier to shop, we found ourselves in need of some dietary expertise.
Enter Rebecca Gilbert… a former competitive figure skater, founder of Yummy Plants, and advocate of a whole, plant-based diet with a self-admitted sweet tooth. Rebecca was a featured speaker at the 2012 New York City Vegetarian Festival and the 2012 Vegetarian Summerfest in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. She’s helped us make our new vegan candy section a reality.
Q: Rebecca, you founded Yummy Plants to help people explore a vegan diet. How did you hear about Candy Favorites?
A: Luckily both Yummy Plants and Candy Favorites are based in Pittsburgh, PA. I met Jon Prince, owner of Candy Favorites, and learned that he was building a vegan candy section. I must admit that I began to drool a bit at the thought of my favorite vegan candies… all available in one easy place!!!
Q: You’ve mentioned that Yummy Plants is a community to help people discover a plant-based life – what do you offer your community members?
A: We actually just re-launched the site with a focus on the community aspect of Yummy Plants. Since its creation, we have offered vegan recipes, health and nutrition tips, vegan-friendly restaurants, product reviews, and lifestyle articles like interviews, and entertaining. As part of the re-launch, we just added a special “New? Start here!” section to help new vegans get started. Now we also offer our community members the opportunity to create profiles and connect with other vegans all around the world. It’s really valuable to new vegans and all community members to be able to ask questions, to get answers, and to have people share what works for them.
Q: What made you start Yummy Plants?
A: I remembered how overwhelming it was when I first switched to a vegan diet – and I wanted to make the path easier for anyone else to follow. My goal is to show people how easy (and yummy!) it can be to follow a vegan diet: at home, at work, and out on the town. We have a whole section called the Yummy Plants 101 to help people make a vegan diet workable in their lives.
Q: What made you decide to become a vegan?
A. It was a very roundabout story. I was a serious competitive figure skater. One day in college, my knee completely gave out. I went to many specialists and surgeons. I tried everything western medicine had to offer: cortisone, physical therapy, and eventually surgery. To my dismay, nothing worked. For about 5 years I lived in constant pain and a very debilitated state… hardly being able to walk on flat surfaces and absolutely unable to walk up and down stairs. I read about a Scandinavian study where the experimental group went vegan for six months and reported a significant reduction in their arthritic knee pain. The very next day I went vegan – and within five weeks I had healed so completely that I returned to the ice!
Q: Now that the Yummy Plants community is almost two years old, what are your plans for the site?
A: My vision is to connect people on a global level. Yummy Plants started as a place of unity on the Internet to help a community of new vegans, and it has grown to become a place of compassion and support to all people who are looking for more information about a vegan diet and how to implement it in their lives.
But where can you find that kooky bunch? In RadzWorld, of course!
RadzWorld is Radz’s exciting interactive online entertainment portal.
Let’s take a look around!
In the Fan Art section, fans can check out awesome art created by fellow Radz fans and submit their own art.
Where in The World showcases photos of Radz traveling around the globe.
You’ll find funny photos of fans acting and looking like Radz in I’m So Radz!
Radz Jr. features art by Radz fans 13 years and under.
We love the cool art in Mash-Ups.
And Fanatics has a little bit of everything!
In Radz Arcade, you can play fun games with your favorite Radz characters.
Head to Radz TV to watch funny videos.
And don’t forget to register your Radz in Radz Roll Call to get access to special Radz Plus content like exclusive videos and games!
Come visit us soon in RadzWorld!
Teaming up with author and blogger Kate Hopkins has been a sweet experience indeed. We received some of the greatest candy stories ever as part of this contest. It’s amazing — candy really does tug at the heartstrings and preserve memories for a great many of us. Thank you for all of your anecdotes about what candy means to you.
Another thing that creates great memories is winning! So let’s get to it.
The winners of our Sweet Tooth Contest and their prizes are:
Signed Copy of Sweet Tooth: The Bittersweet History of Candy
- Donna Huff
- Natalie J Vandenberghe
- Marianne Tucker
- Marissa Stapleton
- Al Pittman
5 Pounds of Retro Americana Candy
- Dianna Yearout
Our thanks again to everyone who submitted a candy story.
Winners will receive an email to arrange delivery of their prizes.
It’s easy to overlook amongst the sweet corn, watermelon, and barbecue of summer, but Patriotic Candy is an integral part of the American tradition. As July 4th approaches, make sure to stick a pin in all your colorful ideas for later this year.
Executive Jelly Beans
One of the most incredible stories in American candy history is that of the Blueberry Jelly Belly.
When he was governor of California, Ronald Reagan developed quite a love for pectin jelly beans. Around the time of Reagan’s inauguration, Jelly Bellies only came in red, yellow, white, orange, and black. The Blueberry Jelly Belly was formulated specifically to match the red, white, and blue color scheme of the celebration!
During his time as President, Jelly Bellies were a standard part of doing national business. President Reagan kept a jar of them on his desk, and he even sent some to space as a surprise for the astronauts!
Show Your Colors
It may not be election time yet, but after a sweltering summer, November will be here before you know it. Plan an election party in advance so you and your friends can look forward to some solidarity in being either completely overjoyed or woefully, bitterly disappointed. No matter the color of your state or your side of the aisle, we have fun candies that will show where you stand.
Our Republican and Democrat buttermints are emblazoned with the logos of their respective parties. When things get ugly, it’s much more fun and friendly to whip candies at your enemies than to start slinging mud. After all, you are the one hosting this party, right?
Mix and Match
When it comes to red, white, and blue candy combinations, the possibilities are endless. You can put together a candy buffet or decorate your desserts with patriotic pearls. To see all the options in this Democratic Republic rainbow, check out our candy by color sections.
Last week, we announced a contest on our email list that required a candy review for entry. We are sorry to report that, due to a glitch in the reviews module of our site, we are not able to access or display the reviews submitted for that contest. As a result, we are holding a second-chance contest.
To enter, just post your review (or what you can remember of it) as a comment on this post or send us an email with the subject line “Second Chance Contest”.
We apologize for this inconvenience, and we’ll continue working to improve our contests and make CandyFavorites.com a fun place to explore and win your favorite retro candies.
It’s not too late to enter our Sweet Tooth Contest! Winners will be announced June 27th.
Hello, all you fans of retro candy and sugary sweets! We need your help! CandyFavorites.com is one of just 100 Pittsburgh area companies to be accepted into the local round of Social Madness.
Let’s cut to the chase – we want your votes!
This nationwide social media competition pits companies all over the U.S. against each other to hash out who has the most social media prowess. The contest will take place in 3 rounds. Each time we advance to the next round, we’ll deliver an amazing special sale to all our social media fans, followers, and readers. At the end, donations will be made to charitable organizations in the names of the winning companies.
If you enjoy our contests, flash sales, retro candy, and new novelty products, please give us your vote. If you have yet to get in on the action, Like Us on Facebook, Follow Us on Twitter, or check us out on Pinterest!
Radz is all about making candy fun, and a big part of that is our collection of colorful Radz characters. Meet Twig, Scorch, Antic, Max and Bubbs!
They’ve each got their own personalities (and their own Pinterest boards). We like to think of them as your typical group of friends, each with their own passions and quirks.
We’ve got Twig, the outdoorsman.
And Scorch, the extreme sports loving “bro.”
There’s Antic, the prankster of the group.
Max is the traveler, ever on the go.
And finally, there’s Bubbs, the loyal buddy always ready to lend a hand.
We’ve taken a lot of care getting to know our characters (and yes, we can even tell you who’s frenemies with who) and we’re very excited to share them with the world through our candy dispensers (available soon at CandyFavorites!) and our fun, free online entertainment portal. But we also know we’re hardly the first to figure out that tasty candy and fun characters make an awesome duo.
So, in the spirit of CandyFavorites, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at some other candy characters and mascots that have appeared over the years.
Choo Choo Charlie was the face of Good & Plenty starting in 1950.
He may not be around anymore, but many fans still remember how much Charlie loved trains and his Good & Plenty! Check out one of Charlie’s commercial’s here.
M&Ms have been around since the 40s, but it wasn’t until 1954 that the characters Red and Yellow made their debut. Remember these guys?
The characters got an overhaul in the mid-90s, when a computer animated Red and Yellow began appearing in TV commercials, soon be followed by Blue, Ms. Green, Orange, and the recently introduced newest member of the M&M bunch, Ms. Brown.
The Dum Dums Drum man was developed for Spangler Candy in 1966.
Wally Warhead burst onto the sour candy scene in the 1980s with his signature puckered lips.
And Mr. Jelly Belly first appeared in 1996.
Did we miss your favorite candy character or mascot? Let us know in the comments! And come check us out and learn more about the Radz characters at candyfavorites.com and radzworld.com!
Brach’s Neapolitan Coconut Sundaes are classic candies that imitate a Neapolitan ice cream sundae. They were among the original candies offered by Brach’s, and have always been made from real coconut.
We’re sad to report that Brach’s Neapolitan Coconut Sundaes will be discontinued in June of 2012. We’ve got them in stock (and on sale!) so if these are your kryptonite, it’s time to place your order, warm up your time machine, and send some to your future self.
Outsmart Those Neapolitan Nabbers
Sure, some people just like coconut. But others among us have more important reasons for loving Brach’s Neapolitan Coconut Sundaes.
You know how it goes. You nab a carton of neapolitan ice cream to enjoy the trifecta of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry flavors. Then while you slave away at work, your deadbeat roommate (or son, or husband) sneaks a scoop every few hours. Come quitting time, you wipe your brow and head home to the only reward that can lift your weary spirits. You open your freezer, lift the lid off the carton, and wail in disgust. Some nasty Neapolitan nabber has eaten all of one flavor.
Don’t let it happen to you! Brach’s Neapolitan Coconut Sundaes are the only sure way to experience the trio of Chocolate, Vanilla, and Strawberry — any time, anywhere, without a spoon.
Stock Up for Posterity
Finding these is about to go from difficult to impossible. So stock up now and hide them well. The only problem you’ll have then will be deciding whether to eat one flavor at a time or bite across the strips of color.
We’re very excited to be teaming up with St. Martin’s Press and author Kate Hopkins to bring you this contest.
Sweet Tooth: The Bittersweet History of Candy is Hopkins’ new book that asks grown-up questions about some of our most established childhood favorites. In a conflicted moment, Kate Hopkins found herself unable to enjoy her candy-fueled memories. They were too clouded with fears like cavities and cholesterol. So she decided to get really indulgent and focus in on candy for years of her life. Sweet Tooth is the fascinating result.
This isn’t your typical candy book. Sweet Tooth reveals the unexpected, even dark reality behind our favorite candies. It also chronicles the evolution of candy on its journey through the centuries and around the world. It’s a ride through the forgotten (or hidden) history of candy, written in a style that’s as fun as its subject matter.
We All Have a Candy Story: Share Yours
We all write our own candy stories in the form of nostalgic anecdotes. It’s only human to assign meaning to the flavors that were present during our most treasured formative moments. Well, you know how much we at CandyFavorites.com like to hear about candy stories. It might be our favorite thing.
So we’re giving away 5 copies of Sweet Tooth, signed by Kate Hopkins. One lucky winner will receive 5 pounds of our Penny Candy Americana Mix, filled with retro candies like Mary Janes, Chick O Sticks, Caramel Creams, Tootsie Rolls, and more.
To enter, just write your candy story in the comments. What’s the most meaningful candy in your life? What memories does it bring back for you? Six winners will be drawn from all those who submit a story. We’ll announce the winners June 27th.
Our latest guest writer deserves a grander-than-usual introduction. Kate Hopkins is the celebrated author of the book Sweet Tooth: The Bittersweet History of Candy, released this year by St. Martin’s Press. A few weeks back, we asked her to write a bit about her new book, as well as share her perspective on candy. Never one to miss a chance to talk about candy, she took us up on the offer.
There is a “thing” about candy which most of us fans are aware of, but to which we rarely put words. In the course of my travels in writing the book, I believe that I’ve been able to come up with some of the reasons why confections resonate with us.
For one, it is, at its heart, a treat. There’s no nutritional value of note for the regular consumption of candy, making it one of the few foods out there that makes it an affordable luxury item. When we look at candy, we’re not thinking “I was thinking I needed to get my daily allowance of carbohydrates and Antioxidants.” No, we’re thinking “Oooo…caramel with marshmallow! I need to have some of that!”
And for those brief few minutes that we consume the candy, we’re separated from the moment. Whatever stresses we may have had, whatever worries we may have been carrying with us, are temporarily put aside. Yes, life may be difficult, but it’s made less so knowing that there’s chocolate- coated peanut butter out there.
Secondly, it’s nostalgic. While scientists may focus on the components of the candy bar, they ignore what are not there – the memories that come with them. Every fan of candy that I’ve talked with has a story that transports them to their youth, whether it’s the piece of candy that their grandfather would “sneak” to them, or the baseball coach who gave little leaguers Bazooka Joe before taking the playing field, everyone who loves candy has a memory surrounding it that they treasure. Nostalgia is a powerful motivator, and a romantic one at that. Eating candy is its own time machine, transporting us back, however briefly, to when we were seven years old, and nothing was more important that the day we had a dollar in our pocket and the permission to buy our own treat.