Daytrippin': Nancy's Candy Co.
Date: November 1, 2011
If your kids are fans of “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” then they will love a trip to Nancy’s Candy Co. in Meadows of Dan, Va., which is a 1-hour, 20-minute drive north of Winston-Salem at milepost 178 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
My two oldest kids visited the store several months ago with their grandparents and talked about how great it was for weeks. On a more recent outing with their grandparents, my kids were given the choice between spending time playing at a local park or the candy store. When the kids picked the candy store, I knew I needed to check the business out for myself.
I recently visited the store with my husband and 3-year-old son, Jackson. The store is delightful with its bright colors and heavenly smells, and it features an irresistible assortment of chocolates, truffles, gummies, candies and more.
“I wanted our candy store to be fun,” says Nancy Galli, who got her start in the candy business in 1987 when she started Nancy’s Homemade Fudge. Because of the popularity of her fudge, customers encouraged Galli to expand to create additional handmade confections.
The company now features more than 45 flavors of fudge (try the red velvet!), 80 chocolates, 20 artisan collection chocolates and a large variety of candy.
Nancy’s Candy Co. is a candy factory and wholesale supplier with retail stores also in Floyd, Va., and Salem, Va. You can watch candy being made through the observation windows at the Meadows of Dan location, which is a 30,000-square-foot facility that stands out in the small town with no traffic lights. “Meadows of Dan is like stepping back in time,” says Galli. “It’s very different than the hustle and bustle of a city.”
During our visit to the store, Jackson enjoyed watching fudge being made through one of the observation windows, and he also admired the large assortment of chocolates in the glass cases, but it was the more colorful candies that caught his eye.
“I want gummies,” he said as he noticed the large jar of gummy worms on one of the top shelves.
While Jackson was content with his small box of gummies, I eyed the hand-rolled truffles. I bought a variety: blueberry, lemon, champagne, peanut butter and pecan praline. They were all delicious, but my favorites were champagne and blueberry, which was especially robust. I also took home a bag of hand-dipped chocolate cashews, which were equally delicious.
The store also carries a large selection of sugar-free candies, “I Love Lucy” (chocolate factory) merchandise, old-fashioned stick candy, lollipops, candy necklaces for kids and much more.
The holidays are the perfect time to visit Nancy’s Candy Co., which has a number of seasonal items such as chocolate turkeys, 3-foot chocolate Santas, chocolate snowmen, peppermint truffles, chocolate-covered cherries and more.
The store also provides a great opportunity to talk to the kids about how businesses are started. “An entrepreneurial spirit is great for kids to see,” says Galli, who started the business because of her fierce sweet tooth. “They don’t see that very often.”
Large groups or families can call ahead to schedule a visit, which will include an informative talk about the company and how the candy is made. Tours of the factory aren’t possible because of health codes, but the observation windows provide an up-close look at the action.
IF YOU GO
Nancy’s Candy Co.
2684 Jeb Stuart Highway
Meadows of Dan, Va.
Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (April-December)
Sunday 1-5 p.m.
Extended hours in October: Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.-6 p.m.