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Tue, Oct. 20

Hammond's Candies available at Grand Canyon Railway Depot
Candy shop inside Depot features small batch, handmade candy including chocolate bars, taffy and jelly beans

Jeff D’Arpa, general manager of resort operations for the Grand Canyon Railway, and  Maryellen Fleming-Hoffman, director of retail for the Grand Canyon Railway, stand in the Hammond’s candy store inside the railway depot. Ryan Williams/WGCN

Jeff D’Arpa, general manager of resort operations for the Grand Canyon Railway, and Maryellen Fleming-Hoffman, director of retail for the Grand Canyon Railway, stand in the Hammond’s candy store inside the railway depot. Ryan Williams/WGCN

WILLIAMS, Ariz. - Hammond's Candies is now available to consumers and candy-lovers of all ages right here in Williams at the Grand Canyon Railway Depot.

The candy section for the Denver-based company, located inside the Railway Depot, opened Sept. 28 and features over a dozen flavors of candy bars alone; including milk chocolate bars with raspberry popping candy, chocolate and chipotle bars, dark chocolate bars with peppermint, salted caramel bars, and of course traditional milk chocolate and dark chocolate bars among many others.

Also available is Hammond's award-winning peanut butter and jelly candy bar, which won most innovative candy bar of 2012.

"With all the flavors of candy bars we have, we also sell them in packages so consumers can get a reduced rate if they buy 10 or more bars," said Maryellen Fleming-Hoffman, director of retail for the Grand Canyon Railway.

In addition to candy bars, Hammond's at the Depot also offers McCraw's Flat Taffy, Mitchell Sweets, Jelly Belly, over 25 flavors of candy canes, giant jawbreakers, caramels, hard candy drops, traditional ribbon candy for Christmas and popcorn among other choices.

"There's a great history to Hammond's candy, and their marketing kind of resembles ours, which makes this partnership between Hammond's and us at the Railway so perfect," said Jeff D'Arpa, general manager of resort operations for the Grand Canyon Railway. "It's been some of our highest volume sales already, so now we're getting really excited about Polar Express with all the candy canes and holiday treats that will be available."

The idea to place a Hammond's candy store within the Grand Canyon Railway Depot was initially brought to Railway management's attention by the company's buying team out of Denver.

"The Railway was chosen as an initial pilot," Fleming-Hoffman said. "We're pretty pleased with the results and feedback we've been getting so far."

Carl T. Hammond Sr. founded Hammond's Candies in 1920 in Denver, where he did it all, including developing the recipes, making the batches, selling the candy, and performing all administration tasks.

During the 1930s Hammond crafted his first original soft confection, Mitchell Sweets. The fluffy marshmallow treat wrapped with a rich, buttery caramel quickly became a signature candy in the Hammond's line, and has remained a favorite since.

"All these goodies cater to our day-trippers to the canyon, with popcorn, snacks, and that kind of thing, and it also caters to their sweet tooth as well," said Fleming-Hoffman. "All the candy is done in small batches, it's not hugely mass produced. All the candy canes are cut and turned by hand, the candy bars are all done in separate pump batches, and it's all handmade right in Denver, Colorado."

Hammond's product line continues to expand. They are the world's only flat taffy manufacturer and have delved into the gourmet food arena with new lines of sweet and savory dips, snack bags, dipping pretzels, and caramel corns, all while keeping the quality of a small-batch, handmade environment (they only make candy 70 pounds at a time).

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