Every December I make a list of fun holiday things to do, specifically for this special season. For at least four years I’ve had “visit Logan’s Candies in Ontario” on my list and have never been able to get there. For one thing, Logan’s Candies is located in Ontario, which is a good 56 miles from my home. Also, I specifically wanted to visit on a night they were offering a candy-cane making demonstration. They don’t offer the candy demos every night, and in fact they are usually on weeknights which makes it extra hard to fight that commuter traffic. But this year I kept tabs on their calendar closely on Facebook, and kept an eye on my own calendar to find a matching night. When the stars aligned, I texted two of my pals out in the Inland Empire and asked if they were free for a special evening at Logan’s Candies followed by dinner. And then the stars aligned even more when both Ellen and Wendy were free and onboard with my ideas. Luckily Matt was in town and able to join us too.
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Logan’s Candies has been in business since 1933. It is currently helmed by Jerry who has worked there for 40 years and been the owner, along with his wife Suzi, for 32 years. They hand-make candy throughout the year, but it’s quite possibly their candy canes that put them on the map. Recently, they were featured on the Food Network when Charles Phoenix walked in and ordered a six-foot-tall candy cane for a Christmas party. The demonstrations last about 20 minutes and the people arrive EARLY to get a prime spot at the window. There are also good viewing spots inside the small shop, if you can get right up against the glass enclosed candy counter. But be forewarned it gets hot and crowded in the shop. At the designated time, Jerry starts mixing ingredients, making the candy and then pulling it on a hook to get it bright white. A smaller piece, colored red, has been put aside for “striping” later. We learned that candy-making families or companies all have a signature look so you can tell where they were made. Logan’s Candies makes their candy canes with 5 thin stripes and one thick stripe.
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Jerry narrated throughout the whole process, telling the crowd the history of the candy cane, which possibly has religious connotations. The candy cane was created in the shape of a Good Shepherd’s cane, and also when turned upside down becomes the letter J for Jesus. A quick search online poked some holes into this theory. I am here to tell you that whatever the background, Logan’s candy canes were the best I’ve ever had! Nothing beats a handmade version. Jerry told the crowd that though this is the most popular time of year for the shop, they do make specially shaped and flavored candies for Valentine’s Day, Easter and St. Patrick’s Day too. The best part of the demo was getting a freshly made warm piece of candy cane. I also splurged and spent $1.50 per person so each of us could “bend” our very own candy cane. I ate mine immediately and it was fantastic! It was a very special night spent with special friends. I hope that if Logan’s Candies is on your holiday list, you can take the time to visit next year.
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By Trish Procetto