Company Profile: Quality Candy Company is a leading manufacturer and distributor of high quality hard candy and soft sugar candy. In addition to a leading position in the foodservice market, Quality Candy produces and sells two distinct lines of branded products: King Leo®, the oldest continuously sold brand of peppermint candy, dating back to 1901; and Gilliam®, a brand of colorful stick candy and high quality hard candy dating back to 1927. Combined, the two brands make Quality Candy the leading manufacturer of stick candy in North America. Quality Candy also provides contract manufacturing services to leading marketers of both mass and niche product lines.
Quality Candy’s manufacturing facility is located in Tijuana, Mexico, just across the border from San Diego. The factory has been in continuous operation since 1986, and has always been in good standing with all relevant agencies due to an impeccable record for food safety. The plant operates twenty-four hours a day with a base of approximately 300 employees and has 14 production lines.
The corporate office relocated from Julian, California to Henderson, Nevada, in 2004. The company has always been a privately held family business.
Quality Candy Company was founded as a start-up in 1986 by Pierre Redmond, starting with a few pieces of very old, simple equipment, and four employees. Focusing on quality, the company made candy for banks, restaurants and small businesses. Quality Candy grew to become a respected vendor of candy that customers typically gave away for free. Original creations such as Spi-C-Mints, Choco-Starlights and Key-Lime Disks – along with an unwavering commitment to quality manufacturing, superior ingredients and the ability to keep costs competitive – all contributed to fast paced growth.
In 1999, Quality Candy acquired King Leo®, a brand that has been synonymous with the word Peppermint since 1901. Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, the legacy created by the century-old stick candy brand has continued unchanged despite the shifts in ownership. The renowned soft peppermint sugar sticks are still made from the original recipe: 100% natural peppermint oil and old-fashioned care. In recent years, the line has been extended beyond the original two items (Peppermint Sticks & Broken Peppermint Sticks) with new offerings that bring the regal peppermint focused brand to more candy enthusiasts across the country.
Finding that a nostalgic candy brand is still desired in the modern day candy market, Quality Candy was then presented with another opportunity to rescue an endangered candy tradition. In 2003, Gilliam® brand candy was added to the already impressive roster of fine Quality confections. Since 1927, iconic racks, filled with dazzling striped candy sticks have been found from Cracker Barrel Restaurants to local penny candy store shelves. Adding the brand to Quality Candy’s portfolio not only seemed like a natural fit, but also established the company as the largest stick candy manufacturer in North America.
Starting with a used lollipop machine in 1986, the company has come a long way. The now 75 thousand square foot factory is producing over 20 million pounds of candy annually. With vigilant attention paid to high food safety standards and quality assurance programs, Quality Candy Company isn’t shy about their immaculate record of food safety, their expanding brands, or their great tasting candy.
- Every year, Quality Candy Company produces enough hard candy that when laid side by side, the candy could reach from the corporate office in Henderson, Nevada, all the way to Sydney, Australia. The amazing thing is that almost all of it was given away for free by restaurants around the country!
- Gilliam Stick candy is available in 36 flavors! The most popular flavor is a tie between Watermelon & Root Beer.
- In addition to serving as the CEO of Quality Candy, Pierre Redmond is also an avid pilot. He not only uses his Cirrus airplane as business transportation, he has also done great charity work utilizing his passion for flying.
- Look for the King Leo Cessna seaplane at charity functions and promotional events, wherever there is water!
- King Leo Peppermint Sticks have been sold in a blue gift tin since the company started in 1901. Today, the King Leo tin has changed a little, but still remains one of the company’s most popular items.
- Every year, customers at Cracker Barrel purchase enough Gilliam Stick Candies that when laid end to end, the candy stretches over 940 Miles!