Last year, The Business Council launch the Made in New York movement, the centerpiece of which is the Made in New York website. It features those products and services that are produced by business in New York. That’s why the following story caught my eye this morning. Elizabeth Carey, reporter for Buffalo Business First, wrote about a western New York company – Mike’s Homemade Candies. A terrific story. Here it is:
There are certain things that consumers are willing to go out of their way for and good, quality chocolate is one of them. Just ask the owners of Mike’s Homemade Candies. The store has been a fixture at 2110 Clinton St. near the city line for more than 40 years. Before that, the candy shop was on Sycamore for about 10 years.
In that time, not much has changed. Apparently, that’s the just the way the owners and customers want it.
“We never changed our chocolate, first of all,” says co-Founder Anna Melithoniotes. “All of those years, we get it from the same place and try to keep it the same.”
That flavor dates back decades. Melithoniotes founded the business with her late husband Mike, who learned his trade in Greece where he made Greek and European candies. The couple came to the U.S. in the late 1950s. Mike continued working in the candy industry until he could open his own business.
His daughter, Susan Walter, grew up in the sweet surroundings perfecting recipes for homemade caramel, marshmallow and more. “My dad taught me everything,” she said. “We don’t change anything. We stick to original recipes with quality chocolates.”
That means no machinery or production line. “We dip chocolate everyday by hand. We cook our own sponge here and cut it everyday and dip it by hand,” Walter explains. “We have milk chocolate, orange chocolate, dark chocolate. It keeps us busy everyday.”
Walter says the process also allows Mike’s to offer fresher candies to customers who count on quality. “I’ve tried other ones and this is the best one I’ve come across so far,” says Gordon Gold. “Otherwise, I wouldn’t come all the way down here.” Gold lives in Clarence and goes out of his way to get to Mike’s regularly.
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