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Martinsville Candy Kitchen continues 102-year-old holiday tradition

The store said they handmake 35,000-40,000 candy canes per year.

MARTINSVILLE, Ind. — It's been done the same way, almost every day, for over a century.

"Water, corn syrup and sugar. That's as detailed as I get without dollars coming out," said Martinsville Candy Kitchen owner John Badger.

It's not a process Badger takes lightly.

"Most candy canes you buy at big stores are made in Mexico or China and most of them don't get touched by human hands," said Badger. "They're made by machines and boxed by machines."

At the Candy Kitchen, it's all hands-on.

"When we bought the store, actually what we bought was the recipes, so we do it the same way they did in 1919," Badger said.

They use the same equipment.

"The table, the cook stove, the copper pot, this is called the buttercup cutter, there's the hood, there's the hook and even the scissors we use to cut the canes with," Badger said. "Everything we use is 102 years old."

Since they bought the Candy Kitchen in 2004, Badger has had plenty of family members work for him.

"My grandson can do what I do, my son can do what I do, my daughter can do it, she just doesn't like to do it," Badger said.

John's daughter Cristian Devlin has worked here since she was 21.

"When my grandmother passed, my dad needed someone in the family, in the store to kind of run things, step in," Devlin said. "Ever since then, that's what I've been doing."

Even with a long commute.

"Because I live two hours away, it's time I wouldn't get otherwise if I wasn't here," Devlin said. "I love being here, I love the memories I've made. I enjoy helping my parents which is something not many kids get to say that they've done."

It's hard work and long hours. Quality time making a quality product.

"When they've seen the process and they know the work and the love that goes into it, they appreciate it so much more and it makes a big difference," Devlin said.

The Martinsville Candy Kitchen said they handmake 35,000-40,000 candy canes per year.

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