THE SWEET LIFE

Who doesn’t love sweet treats during the holidays and even year ‘round? When it’s home grown like Atkinson Candy Company, based in Lufkin, it’s a tradition that gets sweeter and better, according to our candyphile Lance Avery Morgan.

Since 1932, over four generations ago, Atkinson Candy Company in East Texas has helped to make the world a much sweeter place to live. Located in Lufkin, the candy company has a worldwide reputation for favorite products such as Chick-O-Stick, Mint Twists, Rainbow Coconut Bars and many varieties of peanut brittle, to name a few.

Rewind to when B.E. and Mabel Atkinson needed to find a way to keep their family afloat during the dark days of the 1930s. B.E. Atkinson reflected of the time, “During the Depression no one had any money, but everyone had a penny.” The company’s success was born since candy was an inexpensive indulgence that anyone could afford. The family started their candy empire by bootstrapping their way to success and the plethora of sweet treats they launched have been fan favorites ever since.

When you take a bite out of a Chico-Stick, which to some is like a Butterfinger without the chocolate covering, a flood of childhood memories can come flooding back, like it did with me. The same with the Rainbow Coconut bar, the Peanut Butter Logs and just about any Atkinson Candy Company morsel that’s been in every Texas child’s hands since a young age. Taking a bite out of these is almost like a time warp. With all the sensory memory research that’s been done by experts over the years, surely this is a fond memory that evokes experiences as familiar as skipping a rock across a pond, long bike rides with no destination, and afternoons full of watching sitcom reruns of now-legendary television.

Not only is it a slice of childhood, Atkinson wants to make sure it’s a slice of the future, too. In fact, they have many vegan treats in their array of offerings these days. They focus on making candy that’s better for the consumer by implementing simple clean ingredients and nothing artificial. Plus, you can get a piece of Texas candy anywhere you go at major retailers nationwide.

With its classic goodness tailored for a modern palate, the company uses state-of-the-art technology. According to President and CEO Eric Atkinson, “It’s still a matter of old-fashioned pride that we make the highest-quality candy we can. We still make it the way we made it in the ’30s and ’40s.” He goes on to say, “A day without sugar… is like a day without air.”

President/CEO of the Lufkin Angelina County Chamber of Commerce Tara Watson-Watkins is quick to confirm that the sweet treat headquarters is good for the state of Texas, too. “So many times economic development focuses on bringing in new business, but it is so important to support long-standing businesses, like Atkinson Candy, and help them as a community with grants and loans to continue to grow and expand their business. They do an excellent job of constantly evolving with the changing market, updating their brand, recipes and staying fresh. Atkinson Candy is a staple in Lufkin and we are so proud to call them ours.”

So, what are you waiting for? Dive into an Atkinson Candy Company confectionary and give them to your favorite folks who understand the nostalgia of a candy that’s bred in Texas.