SHELLEY– Annie Bradford stumbled upon her sweets business. She started her business of Sweet Boys Candy Cotton out of her love for cotton candy. She has been selling for about a month and has enjoyed every minute of it. She has done Riverfest, Salmonfest, family reunions and even birthdays.
The first electrical cotton candy machine was created in 1897 by William Morrison and John C. Wharton. They peddled their invention at the St. Louis World's Fair under the name of "Fairy Floss". The floss was incredibly popular which fueled manufacture of numerous machines which were sold to candy stores across the country. Today the machine uses the same mechanics to create the sugar strands. In the center of the machine, there is a spot where candy is heated to a liquid state, it is then pushed through a screen to create strands of sugar. There are different sizes of cotton candy machines available but the concept remains the same.
Bradford was so excited when she heard there was a market for it. She started researching and finally got her machine. "I especially love doing family reunions because for a set price they get a smaller amount than what normally comes in a cotton candy cone. They can come back and forth and try different flavors. It is a lot of fun to watch people try it." Bradford's method of cotton candy making is different than many of the solicitors at the state fair. Instead of using a powder which is heated quicker, Bradford makes her cotton candy with hard candies.
"It is so different than the cotton candy you get at the fairs. It is pretty good, but when you start making cotton candy from things like Jolly Ranchers or Root Beer Barrels, you create something entirely different than what you get at the fair. Even if you don't like traditional cotton candy, this is infinitely better." Bradford went into #Treats in Shelley looking for some hard candy to create her cotton candy and Stephanie Christensen was intrigued by the notion. So every once in a while Bradford comes into the store and shows customers how she makes cotton candy. They can purchase from her directly or they can purchase inside #Treats the rest of the week.
"I honestly like doing this for fun. It is great because I get to do it, and don't HAVE to do it." Bradford has three little ones at home and being able to create cotton candy on the side is something that the whole family can go and do together. People enjoy the novelty of cotton candy and as long as it still sells, Bradford and her family will be selling it.