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Customer Profile: How b.a. Sweetie Candy Company Became a Corn-Popping Powerhouse

Sometimes, the real value of a supplier isn’t just in the products it sells. It’s in the knowledge and experience it shares. Tom Scheiman, owner of B.A. Sweetie Candy Company, the largest candy store in North America, knows firsthand how important having the right supplier can be.  

C.J. Dannemiller Co. helped us get into the popcorn business. They get it. They know the popcorn business like we know the candy business. They helped us with the design of the process, picked out the equipment, and set up the kitchens. They were very instrumental because they’re pros in the popcorn business.

Getting Into the Business, with the Help of C.J. Dannemiller Co.

Sweetie stocks over 4,500 items from more than 190 candy manufacturers. Its high sales volumes ensure customer orders from its $3 million inventory arrive fresh and tasty. In the mid-1980s, Tom decided to get into the popcorn business. While that might seem like a relatively straightforward proposition – buy a popcorn popper, seeds, oil, and flavorings and start popping away – the business is surprisingly complex. From deciding whether to use oil or air-popping machines to choosing among the vast and growing arrays of flavors, spices and seasonings used to create gourmet appeal, it’s an intricate undertaking. And it’s all processed using different equipment. From caramelizers to tumblers to cookers and coaters to popcorn ball makers and more, the choices can be overwhelming. Luckily, Tom had some help.  

C.J. Dannemiller Co. supplies Sweetie with additional popcorn seed beyond the purchases it makes directly from popcorn seed growers. But its vast knowledge of the popcorn-making art and development of the equipment used to make it happen is what Tom needed

Consistency Matters

Beyond C.J. Dannemiller Co.’s enormous reservoir of popcorn knowledge, Tom highlighted the company’s steadfast consistency in today’s increasingly chaotic business world. “The supply chain problems we face today are awful, but we know if we place an order on Monday with C.J. Dannemiller Co., that truck is here on Wednesday.” 

“They understand what they need to do and they do it. Let me give you an example. One time, they sold us a big tumbler, which is kind of like a big pasta pot, but huge. It wasn’t welded correctly inside; there was a little gap. The FDA inspector found that gap and said you can’t use this because you can’t clean it. I called C.J. Dannemiller Co. and they were right on top of it and fixed it right away. When you buy equipment online, you can’t get service like that.” 

 b.a. Sweetie Candy has continued to expand under Tom’s leadership. In January 2015, it opened a 40,000-square-foot candy store at its five-acre headquarters campus. Its plans include increasing its popcorn business. In 2021, the company purchased the 125-year-old Humphrey Popcorn Company, a manufacturer of popcorn balls and popcorn treats. Today, popcorn makes up 6 percent of the company’s total sales, and Tom Scheiman gives C.J. Dannemiller Co. full credit for showing them the way.   

About The C.J. Dannemiller Co.

Located in Norton, Ohio, the C.J. Dannemiller Co. is a leading supplier of wholesale popcorn, nuts, and concession supplies.  The company is Safe Quality Food (SQF) certified by the Safe Quality Food Institute, which demonstrates its commitment to operating according to the highest quality standards. Start shopping and taste for yourself.

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