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Monday, October 20, 2014

Cary's of Oregon

Cary’s of Oregon

Family tradition stirred into Southern Oregon sweetness

Story by Cheri Hammons

Being handed a slab of marble and a tattered piece of paper isn’t exactly how you’d envision an award-winning endeavor beginning, but that’s just the way inspiration landed in the lap of Cary Cound of Cary’s of Oregon. Cary’s toffee has been a Southern Oregon confection staple ever since Cary’s grandfather-in-law handed he and his wife Jan that slab and scribbled toffee recipe.

“He told Cary and Jan that old time candy makers used marble to cool the candy and get it to set-up in the shape they wanted,” explains Neal Cournoyer, general manager of Cary’s of Oregon.

Cary started making batches of the toffee with his daughters at Christmas time, quickly turning it into a family tradition. “Family and friends started asking Cary and the kids to make batches for them to give as Christmas presents,” says Cournoyer.

Cary, enjoying the popularity, suddenly remembered his grandfather suggesting he sell the toffee after trying one of his first batches years earlier. Not long after, the family tradition became what is now known as Cary’s Toffee Tradition, and they officially went into business as Cary’s of Oregon in 2001.

Although Cary’s facilities produce nearly 200,000 pounds of toffee each year, much of it is still done by hand. Cary’s mechanical engineering background aided in developing a custom manufacturing system that allows the candy to maintain its artisanal quality and let its fine ingredients shine.

The toffee has won many prestigious awards, and was a SOFI finalist for Outstanding Snack Food at the New York Fancy Food Show sponsored by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade. The sweet treats have also hit Hollywood, being featured on and the Rachel Ray show.

The confectionery offers a number of baskets and holiday themed gift packs, put together with the perfect amount of festive flair. Cary’s makes nine different toffee flavors with combinations that have been masterfully perfected over the years. The soft-crunch treats like milk chocolate with almonds, dark chocolate with Hawaiian salt or espresso and pure, uncoated toffee are designed to satisfy even the most particular palette. Cary’s products are also gluten and preservative free.  

As Cary’s has grown in popularity over the years, its distribution area has grown to all 50 states and Canada. This Southern Oregon candy travels far and wide, much to the satisfaction of sweet teeth everywhere, but Cournoyer says the future of Cary’s toffee will be focused right here at home. “Right now we are focusing on increasing the number of stores here in Oregon that carry our toffee.”

Let your eyes feast or your taste buds go crazy sampling the treats at Cary’s factory retail store in Grants Pass, or visit them online.  

Cary’s of Oregon

413 Union Ave., Grants Pass



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