60 sweet years for Rosemont candy shop

December 13, 2011 (ROSEMONT, Ill.)

It's just a tiny business in Rosemont in a small industrial area near O'Hare. But in the sweet, chocolate aroma filled shop you get the feeling something special is happening. Kay, 84, started her business in 1950 in her Northwest Side home.

"I'm dipping raspberry creams," Kay said. "This is 60 years old, this recipe. We have never changed ingredients."

Kay had three different Northwest Side shops over the years but now she works with her son, Michael, in a new facility. It's a modern atmosphere but the methods and ingredients are as old as sugar and butter and chocolate.

"It's an old-school way of doing things. No preservatives, everything is done in copper kettles," said Michael.

They only make about 150 pounds of candy a week, and they're proud to say it has no shelf life. Just eat what you want and then freeze it.

"These other companies, they make it, they stock it, they store it in their warehouses. Do you know how long it's there?" Kay said. "A long time."

Kay and her son make 18 different types of chocolates. All of them are handmade and all of them made from scratch. But just once they did try modern technology.

"It just didn't work out for us. We like more of a hands on feeling of make the chocolate," said Michael. "Kay is way faster than the machine."

Kay did retire once at age 75 but she couldn't stand the boredom.

"What do you do with yourself when you're my age? How many casinos can you go to?" Kay joked.

You can buy Kay's treats at www.kayscandies.com or from Peapod home deliveries.

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