If you visit places like Morgan Drug or Front Street Gifts, there is a little wooden crate on the counter near the register full of Little Red Hen Candy.
These sweets seem to call out “buy me!” They are fresh, homemade and wrapped in cellophane. This delicious morsel is creamy, smooth caramel.
What you may not realize is that the candy maker and owner of Little Red Hen Candy is former Morgan resident, Holly Olson. She was born and raised in Morgan, graduated from Morgan High and shortly after moved away.
A couple of years ago, when Olson was laid off from her full-time job with Novell, she decided to start her own candy business. She was officially open for business in November 2011.
She returned to her position as marketing manager 11 months later, just enough time for her candy business to take off.
“From the time I could barely reach over the counter, I’ve been making candies. Growing up in a small town meant that I was blessed with endless hours of quality family time. My mother taught me how to make just about every sweet treat possible. I looked up to her and cherished every moment,” she said. “This was just the beginning of my cooking obsession.”
Years later, Olson’s friend Cari (Peterson) Larsen, whom she has known since the fourth grade, taught her to make these wonderful caramels. “Traditionally we would get together every Christmas to make them for friends and family. Before long, word spread, and our caramels were in demand. Holiday orders poured in as did the opportunity to sell the caramels at one of my favorite boutiques, The Busy Biddy. My little hobby began to get serious,” said Olson.
“As business was growing, I knew I needed a helping hand,” she explained. An old friend from her time in the software industry, Ptarmi Kilgore, entered the picture. Her friend’s desire to start a small business, coupled with her desire to grow, motivated them to join forces. Kilgore’s energy for the business side of this adventure and Olson’s cooking obsession was the perfect combination.
Little Red Hen Caramels are currently sold in several stores, including Budget Blinds in Meridian, Idaho, and the Morgan locations already mentioned as well as Hind’s Quick Stop in Peterson. Other Utah stores include: the Busy Biddy boutique in Orem, where she first sold her caramels; Urban Renewal in St. George; Shirley’s Bakery in Provo; and Whisperwood and Company in Bountiful. In addition to these locations, you can shop online anytime at littleredhencandy.com.
The caramels come in nine flavors including cinnamon, vanilla cream, pretzel, licorice, macadamia nut, toffee-almond, pecan, coffee and sea salt. The Little Red Hen Candy Company also makes cashew brittle and macadamia brittle.
“Our ingredients are top quality with no preservatives, and the macadamia nuts are straight from a farm in Hawaii,” stated Olson.
Their mission statement is: “The candies are never mass produced and always hand wrapped.”
Customers AriAnn and Michael Cook said, “Our parents bought some of your candies and when we tried it, we died!!! This is by far, the best candy we’ve ever had! The texture of the candies and the flavor is amazing. Thank you for completing our lives, we will die happy now.”
Olson emphasized another sweet deal to keep shipping cost down for their customers, “We deliver to retail stores and offer free delivery to customers in Utah and Salt Lake Counties.”
They can also customize your order into favors for weddings and birthday celebrations or gifts for corporations, groups and organizations. Order requests are made online or over the phone. Phone: 801-854-8395 or 801-368-7316.