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Burke Candy stays afloat amid the pandemic

Posted at 6:35 AM, Jan 11, 2021

Burke Candy, on Fratney Street in the Riverwest Area, is a candy manufacturing plant that makes its own candy from its own ingredients.

They got their start back in 1929 in Chicago.

Julia Burke, who co-owns the business with her husband Tim explains what makes them so unique.

"Well the uniqueness is that we are an ingredient manufacturer also, so we make our candy, but we also make it in our candy division. We also sell to the industry, so our creams, our toffee's, and our caramels, so it makes the process easier for everybody," said Julia.

Since they make all of their candy in-house, we were allowed to see them making their popular toffee, which is a tedious process, according to Julia.

"It takes time and temperature and energy, because you've got to plate the toffee on the table, you have to coat it with a warm, but not hot, and the roasted almonds are a freak-out for me because you can only have one color, I don't like any other color, and it's not easy," said Julia.

The building that they work out of in town is 15,000 square feet, with its own store where their customers can buy their famous candy. Julia says their website has been a huge hit during the pandemic.

"We have a great website that we just built recently, thank God, because it saved us during the pandemic," she says. "I don't like using that word, but through COVID, and it really made a difference. "We're a small store as you can see. Last year, during Christmas time, we had 20 people lined up, the door was open, and we had to turn off the buzzer because it was so crowded. This year, we went curbside right away, and people came."

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