Martinsville Candy Kitchen

Candy Kitchen

Step one: After candy mixture reaches the correct temperature, John Badger and his assistant Briar Walker pour melted sugar onto a cold marble slab from the 1919 copper kettle to start making the canes.

Step one: After candy mixture reaches the correct temperature, John Badger and his assistant Briar Walker pour melted sugar onto a cold marble slab from the 1919 copper kettle to start making the canes.

Fun Festive Activity for All Ages
By Tonja Talley

Are you looking for a fun and festive holiday activity to do with family or friends of any age? You might consider a road trip to the Martinsville Candy Kitchen. This quaint candy kitchen tantalizes the senses in the month of December with their signature holiday item: warm hand-pulled candy canes.

Owners John and Pam Badger bought the store in 2004. The Badgers were at a historic preservation meeting when they heard the kitchen was going to close due to

Cooling

Step Two: As the sugar cools, John manipulates it disperse the peppermint flavoring.

the previous owner’s age and no perspective buyers. “We didn’t have any business experience,” John recalled. “But my wife and I didn’t want to see our hometown candy shop closed either.”

A Greek immigrant, Jimmy Zapapas, founded the candy kitchen in 1919. To this day, John and Pam still use Zapapas’ original gas stove, copper pot, marble slab and metal hook in the creation of their candy canes.

Step Three: From the large hook, John pulls and twists the slightly cooled mixture until the amber-colored candy turns white. A separate batch of red is processed the same way.

Step Three: From the large hook, John pulls and twists the slightly cooled mixture until the amber-colored candy turns white. A separate batch of red is processed the same way.

According to Pam, the entire process, from beginning to end, takes approximately three hours, producing batches anywhere from 150 to 300 canes at a time. They offer 6”, 9” and 12” canes, along with ¼-pound bags of pieces. In recent years, the Badgers have also included other designs such as candy cane ribbons and blue and white horseshoes for the Colts fan in the group.

Those placing special orders may request one of the kitchen’s 17 flavors. Their traditional flavors include such top sellers as peppermint or cinnamon, while a more exotic choice of flavors might be clove,

Step Four: The two colors are added, making a “loaf” of candy ready to make 200-500 canes.

Step Four: The two colors are added, making a “loaf” of candy ready to make 200-500 canes.

horehound or cappuccino. In 2012, the candy kitchen sold 38,100 candy canes. “I suspect our numbers will be higher than that this year.”

Visitors in December have a hard time deciding which is more exciting, watching the owners make the scrumptious treat or eating it.

What if you have a question while the Badgers are making the canes? Just holler the question out. John is more than happy

Step Five: The two colors are added, making a “loaf” of candy ready to make 200-500 canes.

Step Five: The two colors are added, making a “loaf” of candy ready to make 200-500 canes.

to answer any questions.

During the processing, John explained how the characteristics of sugar make the formation of the cane possible. When sugar is heated, it melts and becomes a workable syrup. The syrup can be flavored, manipulated, colored and shaped as it cools.

Because orders are shipped daily to places like New York, Arizona, Italy, Haiti and

The final delicious product, ready to be enjoyed.

The final delicious product, ready to be enjoyed.

Afghanistan, the Badgers can be seen making their candy canes most every day in December. If you would like a personal viewing for your family or group, John suggests you call ahead for details. “We make canes at all hours on Saturdays and Sundays, plus in the evenings during the week.”

For those customers desiring a different sweet, the Martinsville Candy Kitchen carries 29 varieties of ice cream, along with handmade chocolates and fudge. However, it will be the warm handmade candy canes that will continue to bring you back.

 


 

Tonja Talley has called Center Grove home since 1993. An 11-year bi-lateral lung transplant survivor, Tonja enjoys speaking on behalf of the Indiana Organ Procurement Organization. She also volunteers for the CF Foundation, byTavi, and her church.

Leave a Reply


Other News

  • Columns Gardening Nana — Keyhole Gardens

    Gardening Nana — Keyhole Gardens

    By Nancy Craig In previous articles, I’ve mentioned how my daughter, Ann, is using permaculture ideas to start her garden business, Handful of Herbs, in Fort Collins, Colo. One of the concepts she is using is a keyhole garden, which is a great garden plan for dry areas like Colorado. We have experienced several dry summers here in Indiana, so I plan to have my great nephews, Max and Eli (and their dad, my nephew, Donald), help me make a [...]

    Read more →
  • Columns Making Cents — ‘Tis the Season of…Taxes

    Making Cents — ‘Tis the Season of…Taxes

    Writer / Kate Rhoten It’s the beginning of April. Spring is here, and so are the last couple of weeks before the dreaded “tax day” of April 15. There’s a laundry list of taxes beyond the income tax filing. Some we might encounter every day; others, only once or twice. What are some of the common taxes we might have to pay? Heard of sales tax, food and beverage tax, use taxes, income taxes, intangible taxes, gift tax, estate tax, [...]

    Read more →
  • Cover Stories KIC-IT provides love and care for homeless youth

    KIC-IT provides love and care for homeless youth

    Because a couch is not a home *Names of homeless youth have been changed. By Katelyn Bausman Photographer / Jessica Limeberry of Lemongrass Photography Sexually abused at 5 years old, Sara and her drug addict mother moved more than 40 times in seven years. Once they lived on a campground for three months. Eventually while living in an apartment, the police showed up during a party her mom threw for five days. “As it turned out, my mom’s boyfriend had [...]

    Read more →
  • Featured Local People Mom of the Year Finalists

    Mom of the Year Finalists

    Voting has ended and the winner will be announced in our May issue. In the mean time you can still read about this year’s finalists. Jennifer Brian / Nominated by Lakota Hodges Besides wearing the title of “Mom of the Year,” our winner will receive a prize package including: The cover photo and story of Center Grove Community Newsletter’s May issue An 8 x 10 print from the cover photo shoot, courtesy of Lemongrass Photography A relaxing day spa package provided [...]

    Read more →