- Jolly Ranchers
- Who Invented Jolly Ranchers
- Jolly Rancher: Colorado’s favorite candy maker
- Dorothy Harmsen, 91, a Creator of the Jolly Rancher Candy Line, Dies
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She was The cause was a heart attack, said her son, William D. Harmsen Jr. Over a career in confections that spanned 50 years, Mrs. Harmsen and her late husband, William, created scores of original candies on their farm in Colorado, including chocolates, fruit chews, jelly beans and lollipops.
Originally made in Golden, Colorado the Jolly Rancher Company initially made ice cream, candy, and chocolates that were sold at several stores in the Denver area. Founded in by Bill Harmsen, the idea of the Jolly Rancher was to create a fun candy environment that would bring joy in more ways than just the flavor of a good candy. It is he and his wife, Dorothy, who are credited with the creation of this juicy hard candy. They often created the candies in their family barn and would hand out dozens of samples to kids on field trips. The whole reason behind these efforts was that they wanted to create a warm, Western environment for their new hit candy. The entire art collection was donated to the Denver Art Museum and its value has never been disclosed, but it includes pieces from some of the biggest names in Western art, including Russell, Remington, Wyeth, and Henri.
The name was meant to suggest a hospitable, western company. In , Hershey closed the Wheat Ridge, Colorado plant and moved the manufacturing of the candy to Mexico to save costs. Bill Harmsen founded the Jolly Rancher Company in , choosing the name to give the impression of a friendly Western company. He initially sold candy, chocolate and ice cream in the Denver, Colorado, area, but found that ice cream was hard to sell in the cold winter months, so decided to focus on hard candies which sold at all times of year. Jolly Rancher original flavors were watermelon, apple, and Fire Stix.
Who Invented Jolly Ranchers
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Jolly Rancher: Colorado’s favorite candy maker
A number of candy companies have called Colorado home over the years. Dorothy and Bill Harmsen moved to Colorado from Minnesota in Bill was a pilot for Continental Airlines, but he dreamed of owning his own business. Dorothy entered the fruit and flower business, growing gladiolas, peonies, raspberries, and strawberries, which she delivered to Denver. Later, the Harmsens also set up a woodworking shop in their barn, where they made doll beds and cocktail trays.
The name was meant to suggest a hospitable, western company. In , Hershey closed the Wheat Ridge, Colorado plant and moved the manufacturing of the candy to Mexico to save costs. Jolly Rancher candies original flavors were watermelon, grape, apple, and Fire Stix, later were butter, cherry, orange tangerine, lemon, peach, and sour apple. Later, blue raspberry replaced lemon. In , lemon was reintroduced in an all-lemon bag. Current flavors include cherry, blue raspberry, grape, green apple and watermelon. There are also sour, berry, cinnamon, and smoothie varieties.
Dorothy Harmsen, 91, a Creator of the Jolly Rancher Candy Line, Dies