“Thirty-five years ago, women were not going back to school. The first job I had in high school was at a candy store in Houston, Texas. It was great quality candy. I decided to open my own business in Jackson and thought I would buy wholesale from the owner. Instead he said, 'No, I’ll teach you how to make it,’” reflects Nandy’s Candy owner, Nancy King. “I went to Houston for a week and learned how to make the candy. But getting the money for my shop wasn’t easy. I was told by numerous banks to go home and bake my cookies. But I finally convinced a bank and got a loan.”
Nandy’s Candy opened its bright red doors on October 25, 1980, in a charming 250 square foot space in Colonial Mart on Old Canton Road in Jackson. The previous owner left the space in shambles, and Nancy’s husband helped her scrub, clean and perfectly build out the store. “We purchased equipment: a marble slab, a cooking stove for candy, and copper pots,” says Nancy. Customers were charmed with excellent customer service and her fresh, high-quality candy. Nancy says, “I am old fashioned. The recipes I used in the beginning and still use today have lasted generation to generation. They are tried and true.”
Nandy’s Candy moved to its current Maywood Mart location in 1997, where it has joyfully resided for over eighteen years. The warm and friendly atmosphere creates a family-oriented feeling, and employees gladly help guide you, whether you are looking for a gift, something sweet for a diabetic, or simply a treat for a child. “People come into a candy store to be happy!” laughs Nancy. “I have always wanted to keep my candy factory with my retail business. I love when people walk in and say, ‘Oh my goodness, it smells SO good in here!’”
Nancy’s daughter, Emmie, handles many of the responsibilities at Nandy’s Candy. With social media flourishing and technology racing faster than anyone can keep up, Nancy hopes that Nandy’s Candy will be here for future generations. Nancy says, “Success in business is not about profits and money. It is whether you have succeeded in making a quality product and a friend for life. So many of my customers are my friends. Not acquaintances. Creativity is my strong suit, and I love interacting with the people who come into Nandy’s Candy.”
Nancy nails it when she says, “Nandy’s Candy has been a part of people’s lives. It is part of Jackson. Whether it is Lemuria Books, Nandy’s Candy, Brent’s, or Beemon Drugs, we are all part of a community. We have all contributed and we all care about each other. We care about the Delta, the coast, Meridian and Vicksburg because our state is the size of one large city in most states. We have to care about each other. I care about my product and my customers. I will never give you something that I am not proud of or do not enjoy.”
Congratulations, Nancy, on 35 years of great success! Cheers to the next 35 years.
As long as Nandy’s Candy continues brightening our lives with delicious morsels, we will gladly walk through those famous red doors into a world of sweetness!
For more information on Nandy's Candy, please visit their website here or their Facebook page here!