Things change. Times pass. But that doesn’t mean you have to accept it.

When Mary’s Candy in Lewiston closed its doors a couple of years ago, it was the pits for Ellen Magee. She could no longer buy their chocolate covered cherries, which she had been sending to an elderly aunt for the last 20 years.

So she started experimenting in her Lewiston home. She eventually came up with, well, in her words, “I take a plump cherry and wrap it in a secret confection and then dip it in a rich bath of milk or dark chocolate.”

She started getting requests and, soon, Ella’s Candy was born. She has since branched out to “making soft homemade caramels enclosed in a thick layer of chocolate and, if requested, I add a couple of thin layers of toffee crunch.”

Who needs a marketing firm?

She makes them to order out of her home, for parties, showers, get-togethers, special events and for just anybody who loves confections.

Are your cherries better than the cherries Mary’s Candy used to make? How’s your aunt feel about the change? I think my dipped cherries are better than Mary’s Candy shop because theirs had a runny confection inside the chocolate, and mine have a hand-wrapped confection that gives it a different taste and is not as apt to fall apart. My aunt loves the cherries I send.

You did a lot of experimenting to get it just right. Describe the taste or look of your worst experiment. It is hard at times to get just the right size candy, so every once in awhile I come up with a really big, bad, ugly-looking candy.

How long did it take you to achieve the perfect chocolate-covered cherry? A couple of months, and I continually think of ways to make them even better.

You say that people who taste your cherries arrive at “The Land of Delicious.” What’s that about? A few months ago I brought a couple of boxes to Vermont while visiting my daughter-in-law’s family. I was standing in the dining room watching a couple of woman eat my candies and they were discussing each layer with a look on their faces that made them look like they had arrived at “the land of delicious.”

Where did the company name — Ella’s Candy — come from? My name is Ellen and my mother used to call me up and say “Ella?” She has passed away and my business is a tribute to her.

You’re branching out to other candies. Do you have visions of rivaling Hershey Co.? Where do you see you business in a year or two? I’m not sure I see my company as a mega venture, but I do see it as being successful. I expect holidays to be my busy times. In addition to selling my candy I also offer for sale platters of my candy to local caterers and make party favors for various types of parties. I have to admit when I am driving on the highway and see big trucks with company names on them I imagine my company’s name on the side of the truck and full of Ella’s chocolate covered cherries.

Do you like chocolate covered cherries? It is a battle every time I make my candy to not eat them, so, yes, I love my candy

If people want to go to “The Land of Delicious,” how can they do that? Take a bite of one of my candies. My telephone numbers are 207-576-0478 and 207-784-2436 and e-mail is [email protected] The Web site is www.ellascandy.com.


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