Video and slideshow from inside the factory.
Many people are stocking up on candy this weekend to prepare for all the sugar-crazed trick-or-treaters, but few residents may realize that some of the sweet, and sour, Halloween treats are manufactured right here in Forest Park.
Working around the clock seven days a week, Ferrara Pan Candy Company, 7301 Harrison St., produces 135 million pounds of candy each year – about 370,000 pounds of candy every day.
The company started out in Chicago in 1908 with sugar coated almonds and has since grown into one of the top candy sites in the country, known for its Lemonheads, Black Forest Gummy Bears, Boston Baked Beans, Red Hots and Atomic FireBalls.
At the Forest Park factory, roughly 400 employees are busier than ever. Revenue has grown by more than 20 percent since last year, despite the recession, said owner Salvatore Ferrara II.
“Candy goes up because it’s a very affordable treat,” he told the Review. “You can actually enjoy a little candy for 25 cents. It isn’t an expensive proposition.”
Since Halloween is right around the corner – and because we just really love candy – the Review decided to visit the factory and learn the process by which the sugary liquid transforms into a colorful and presentable treat. Check out the photos and video from our trip, while the full story will appear in the next issue of the Review.