|Touring the Sweet's Candy Factory in Salt Lake City surely gave us a "sugar fix" for several days but was a great tour and we learned lots of new things. Sweet's, in business since 1892 started in Portland, Oregon and moved to Salt Lake City in 1902 due to the huge sugar beet harvest in the state of Utah. It is still privately owned by 5th generation Sweets. Utah is no longer a huge sugar beet producer so most of their sugar comes from nearby Idaho. And boy do they need to be close to sugar...They use 2-3 seventy thousand pound bags per week! Sweet's is best known for their cinnamon bears, chocolate covered orange sticks and salt water taffy but they make over 200 different kinds of candy that is shipped all over the world. We were allowed to take no photos in the factory but we sure got to sample lots of candy! Overhead pipes running through the factory provide sugar, corn syrup, and both milk and dark chocolate "on tap." Whatever they need they just open a spigot, much like a water faucet, and measure out the amount they want for a batch. The taffy takes one hour from start to finish. It is whipped in big mixers (much like a huge bread machine)then cranes dump the whipped taffy on to giant cooling wheels then dumped on to big rollers. The rollers keep rolling the taffy smaller and smaller then it is sent to machines that cut and wrap 450 pieces per minute. They are then either packaged as separate flavors or put in to big bins and dumped into a huge mixer and then packaged as varieties. Sweet's does not "pull" their taffy as they believe it is softer without pulling and I think Mike can attest to it being some of the best taffy he has ever had! They make between 8-12 million pieces of taffy every year. The cinnamon bear molds are stamped in big trays of cornstarch and then proceed to the big vats of candy that drop measured amounts into each little mold. They are then cooled before sent to packaging. The orange sticks are made the same way, then travel on a conveyor system to be coated with chocolate, through a cooling tunnel where a vacuum picks up the candies placing them inside boxes before they are shrink-wrapped. Of course after the tour we spent some time (and money) in the candy store! They make different candies and different flavors on different days and no candy stays in the warehouse for more than 30 days. The photos inside the factory are photos of Sweet's and added by permission of our tour guide.