Born from sharing a love of candy with her siblings as a little girl in 1970’s Ohio, our founder Elaine had been making candy as holiday gifts years before she thought of starting her own business. She started with her childhood favorite, caramels, and later added toffee and Buckeyes, a peanut butter and chocolate treat that resembles the Buckeye nut so common in Ohio. Every year, friends nudged her towards selling her candy, but she always kept it a homemade hobby that signaled the start of the holiday season.
In 2006, that feeling changed when Elaine was being treated for a serious illness. In just one moment, it dawned on her that the next chapter of her life should be dedicated to finally selling her candy and seeing how far she could go. Her husband Mike jumped on board and helped her cook hundreds of test batches to refine her existing recipe, and heaps of eager friends became taste-testers. She and Mike decided to name her new company Red Kite Candy, symbolizing the fun she had flying kites with her brother when they were young.
Back then, each batch was cooked up in our home kitchen, and all of our candy was sold at local fairs and farmer’s markets just minutes away. Our home kitchen was sticky with caramel accidents, and delivery trucks had to battle our snowy, mountainous Vermont driveway. We still make all our own candy, but now we’ve got our very own kitchen facility with plenty of space for all our candy making, a candy shop, and a vintage Fiat 500 named Peppino who helps us give out our candy. We’re excited to continue making people happy, whether it’s with new candy, expanding our fundraising program Candy Lab, or something we haven’t even cooked up yet!