Friday, January 21, 2011

2011 Bridal Shows

This past weekend (January 15&16), we braved the snow and headed out to some bridal shows! This weekend we went to both the Bridal Expo at the Notre Dame Joyce Center and the Northwest Indiana Bridal Expo at the Porter County Expo Center. It was great to get out, meet some brides and see some hot trends in the wedding world!
The response that we got was great! (Lots of OMGs and WOW!! I never thought of doing this!) We just don't get sick of hearing it! We made so many contacts with both brides excited about a sweet way to treat their guests and also vendors excited to work with us. We were so pleased with the warm reception that we received.

We, once again, learned so much about the bridal world that we're breaking into!! Some of what I picked up on...
  • There is no "it" color for the upcoming year. I was amazed at all of the gorgeous color combos that I saw and that people were talking about! I heard red, pink and purple a lot but with these base colors mixed with fun and creative accent colors. The great thing is that we have so much in our store that we can do with nearly any color combination!!
  • People love taffy!! So many people were so excited to see the taffy that we have and to hear about all of the flavors that we carry. Saltwater taffy can be hard to find but we've got it, and in over 35 flavors! The great thing is that for a pound of taffy, which is only $4.99, you get around 60 pieces!
  • Sixlets are hot! We had a lot of people asking about M&Ms in their colors and when we showed them the colors of Sixlets that we have available they were so excited. We have 15 colors of Sixlets and they are far less expensive than M&Ms. Plus, they just taste really great!
  • The sky is the limit as far as candy is concerned! We spoke with a bride that wasn't completely into the idea of a whole candy buffet but loves the idea of using candy as centerpieces. We talked about having different types of candy at each table so that the guests would mingle around and get to know each other (if only for their favorite type of candy!!) as well as arranging rock candy suckers in a gorgeous jar on each table. We're very excited about the gorgeous centerpieces that we can put together for her that will all go home at the end of the night instead of being wasted!
Here are some more pictures of the display that wowed Michiana and Northwest Indiana brides this weekend!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Baby Candy Buffet

       So I put together this candy buffet that could be used for a baby shower. This particular one could be used for a gender neutral shower but we have plenty of candy in both pink and blue! We carry bubble gum cigars for both baby girls and boy! We also now carry It's a Boy and It's a Girl Whirley Pop suckers! What a  sweet way to welcome a little bundle of joy!
   Another yummy treat that is featured in this candy buffet is the solid blue gummy bears. We can get nearly every color of gummy bears in individual flavors. Keep in mind that this is a special order so make sure to contact us in plenty of time to get in your favorite flavor!!
   Be looking for our next blog about our experiences at the upcoming bridal shows in our area! We will be at the Bridal Expo sponsored by Michiana Brides at the Notre Dame Joyce Center on Saturday, January 15th. We will also be at the Northwest Indiana Bridal Expo on Sunday, January 16th. Come check us out!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Love is Sweet- Santilli/Knight Wedding

     November 6, 2010 we had the AMAZING opportunity to go out and see our candy in action at Angela and Bobby's gorgeous wedding reception! Needless to say, we were absolutely stoked!!!
    This reception was so full of fun, friends, family and love! I was a complete stranger and the family just welcomed me like a long-lost friend. I laughed, I cried... and I had just met these people! Let me tell you, it was the type of reception that every bride wishes for and not that many get. Everyone was eating, drinking, dancing and just having a blast. When I left around 9 the crowd had hardly thinned at all! That is a sign of success!!
     I am going to pump us up a little bit and say that our candy buffet had quite a bit to do with that! (Ha ha ha!) In all honesty, the guests loved that candy buffet. I had to chase them off, request of the bride, until after dinner. Believe me, that was a tough job! However, it was totally worth it when the bride arrived and was able to see the candy buffet all set-up and looking good! I would recommend doing this to any bride who planned to be arriving at the reception later than the guests. The easiest way to do this is to wait to put the bags or containers out until you are ready for guests to get into the candy buffet. I didn't slap people's hands if they took a couple of pieces! This way both the bride and all the guests were happy!  Angela thought ahead and had candy corn and a peanut mix in the bar available to the guests, which was a great idea!
     Every event is a learning experience for us, because every event is different. I took over 100 pounds of candy out and Angela had picked up some stuff that week. I never, ever dreamed that we would go through all that candy BUT WE DID! Angela told me that she only took home a little bit of salt water taffy.
     Knowing your guests is so important! Angela really knew her weddings guests and that made her candy buffet such a success! She picked candies that she and Bobby liked and things that she thought her guests would like. There were quite a lot of children at this reception so Angela made sure to get candies that kids really love. She ordered gummies for the kids and we made sure that cinnamon candies were a little harder to reach so that kids didn't get them by mistake. What I learned is that EVERYONE LOVES GUMMIES! The gummies were the first things that I ran out of. This is something to keep in mind for future events.
     As a little side note, the DJ at this reception was amazing. He had everyone out there dancing all night long! He was taking pictures and was just a blast! He also used these gorgeous lit panels to hide all of his equipment. I know how hard finding a good DJ can be and I would recommend Tony Jones with Purrfect Occassions DJs in a heartbeat!

A gorgeous FALL candy buffet!

Gummy Pumpkins (a crowd favorite)

Some adorable guests sneaking some treats!

Friday, November 5, 2010

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Getting some real world experience

    Over the last week and a half we have had some opportunities to get out and see some of our candy buffets in action. We had some great experiences and had a great time getting to talk to people about our great candy!
     On October 21st we went to the Friends of the Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Library 30th Birthday Bash. They had decided that a great way to celebrate the occasion would be with a Jumbo Jelly Bean Candy Buffet. The candy buffet was exclusively Jumbo Jelly Beans! There was a couple of jugglers, a hula dancer, a balloon man and a magician. The South Bend Chocolate Company was also there with some chocolates  as well as crafts and face painting for kids. There was also a lady there with her vintage photographs from when she owned a nightclub in South Bend. I wish I had had time to check out her photos. Fun was had by all, that is for sure!! I will say that doing a candy buffet limited to Jumbo Jelly Beans was by far the easiest set up that I have done so far and everyone enjoyed it!
   Then on October 23rd I went to Waynesville, Missouri for my grandparent's 50th anniversary celebration. I was limited to what I could fit in my suitcase so I did just a small candy buffet for friends and family to enjoy. Some of the candy that we selected was sentimental (Bit o Honeys-which my grandpa always used to carry in his lunchbox) and some was chosen for color (candy corn taffy). The best was getting to see everyone having a Jumbo Jelly Bean and giant flavored malt balls. I took Red Licorice (my grandma's favorite) and Pineapple Jumbo Jelly Beans because their colors and flavors were spot-on for a fall celebration. I also took Peanut Butter, Cherry, Chocolate and Pumpkin Malt Balls, They were a smashing success!!! This buffet showed how success a low-key candy buffet can be. This size was perfect for this party!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The BIG question? How much candy?

    If I had one wish, it would be that no one would ever ask me this question. That is the most unrealistic wish that I could ever have but it such hard one to answer. We want to so badly to be a great resource for candy buffets, which we are, but this is one question that I can only give advice on.
    How can this so complicated? There are just so many factors to consider.
  • Number of guests
  • Type of container you will be providing, if any
  • Length of your event
  • Other foods and sweets that will be available
  •  Length of your event
  • Number of children at your event
  • Number of varieties of candy
    As you can see there is no easy formula to use to figure out how much candy you need.So I will walk you through some of the tips that I give to customers in store.
    A basic rule that many "experts" recommend is to buy 10-20 pounds of each variety of candy. While this is a good rule of thumb for a wedding, it doesn't really apply to other events which may be smaller in size and shorter in length.
    If you are giving your guests take home containers of a certain size, you will want to make sure that you have enough candy for each guest to fill their containers. However, you also need to keep in mind that they will be eating candy at the event as well.
    Obviously, the more varieties of candy on your candy buffet, the less in poundage that you need of each kind. However, what you do have to keep in mind is that some things are going to be more popular with your guests. So far, I have seen that wrapped high quality chocolates are a particular favorite with guests, and ladies in particular.
    Kids! This can be where things get tricky. Are you going to have someone "work" your candy buffet? The Dime Store can send an associate to set up, serve, and tear down your candy buffet for a small fee. You can also designate a family friend to do this.  Serving can also just mean reminding kids (and others) to use the scoops and spoons instead of their fingers. No one wants to take the jelly beans that someone just had their fingers all over! What you want to keep in mind are the candies that kinds enjoy. Kids love gummies, sour candies and taffy. They are not usually as fond of hot cinnamon and licorice flavors. A recent bride in the store chose a few candies that she knew the children at her event would love and will be putting those in jars that are easily accessible to smaller ones! What a great and thoughtful idea!
   Another tip is to use sugar, brown sugar or even chocolate chips in the bottom of the jars in order to decrease the amount of candy that is needed to make the jars full. The best way to make sure that your candy buffet is attractive is to be sure that your jars will be full. The problem is that some of the jars that are so gorgeous are so tall that it is nearly impossible to get the candy from the bottom. Raising the candy level a bit makes the display look attractive and saves you money because it uses so much less candy.  Sugar can also be used to hold suckers in place.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Something sweet for a SPOOKTACULAR event!

   A couple of weeks ago I created a fall themed candy buffet. This idea could be used for a fall wedding, a Halloween party or any fall event! With all of the great fall candy available it is so easy to get inspired.
   Of course I begin nearly every candy buffet with our World Famous Jumbo Jelly Beans and for this one I layered Red Licorice and our new Pineapple beans. This looks great but for a real event you may want to make sure that all of the flavors are easily accessible for guests, so they don't have to dig down in order to get a particular flavor. You can do this by only having one flavor in each jar or by having perhaps a short jar or bowl with the "buried" flavor available.
   I used this same technique with our flavored malt balls. In addition to our delicious milk chocolate malt balls we now carry PUMPKIN, CHERRY, CHOCOLATE MINT, and PEANUT BUTTER!!! They are amazing and are made by South Bend Chocolates. I took the pumpkin last week to the Vera Bradley event and got a great response from the ladies.
   A new favorite in the candy world is an old favorite-Candy Corn! Candy corn is available in a wide variety of flavors and in colors for nearly every holiday. We currently have caramel and cinnamon in stock but we could help you to find more flavors!
   However, no candy buffet is truly complete without the little extras. Ribbon and little stickers really complete the look and take it to the "next level". I also used fake leaves. What is so great is that Target has fall and Halloween scrapbook items and fake leaves right now in their "See Spot Save" area. It's amazing what a couple of dollars can get you and how amazing it can make your candy buffet look! Lux for less is what I say!! Then you just hot glue your accessories on. It comes right off and holds great!

'Til next time!