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Jolly Rancher

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Jolly Rancher candy
Jolly Ranchers

If you lived in Wheatridge or Arvada anytime in the 1950 or even into the 90s, you could be treated to the fragrance of watermelon one day, perhaps apple, cherry or grape the next, or even a spicy cinnamon aroma wafting across town from the Jolly Rancher factory.

The candy originated at a little ice cream shop in Golden. Customers lined up around the block for a cone of creamy Ranch Maid ice cream, but sales were slow in winter. So owners Bill and Dorothy Harmsen began making chocolates, then experimented with the hard candies. And those bite-sized delectables evolved into iconic Jolly Ranchers.

Each year two million people visited the barn where the candies were made and handed out like every day was Halloween. But production quickly outgrew the barn so operations moved to the plant in Wheatridge. After the company changed hands and ended up with Hershey, in 2002 production moved out of the country.

About Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards are snapshots of our colorful state in sound. They give brief insights into our people and places, our flora and fauna, and our past and present, from every corner of Colorado.