Ella May Launches Artisan Candies In DC Stores
If someone ever says that candy making isn’t an art, just show them Ella May Confections. Not only does Nicole Aandahl make fun flavors, she skillfully crafts her candy. Using techniques passed down to her by her mother and grandmother, Nicole sees her business as a family legacy. It is a way to bring a little bit of sweet beauty into the world shared by her family.
Founded in 2018, Ella May is an artisan candy and confection company. Currently available in Union Kitchen locations, Ella May candies come in three fun and unique lollipop flavors: Mixed Berry, Strawberry Lemonade, and Orange Satsuma. Additionally, she also offers fruity chews, marshmallows, taffy, nougats, and seasonal candies. Named after Nicole’s grandmother, the story of Ella May starts in Nicole’s childhood home.
Growing up, Nicole would often make delectable candies with her grandmother and mother. She gained the skills that would eventually help Nicole during her transition into the world of food manufacturing and packaged goods. During these cooking sessions, Nicole also developed a deep bond with her family. The name Ella May itself is in honor of her grandmother.
Ironically, despite Nicole’s mission of bringing happiness through her candy and confections, the actual decision to jump into the world of food came after a bit of disappointment. “It started with a disappointing praline,” Nicole said in an interview with F6S. “I’d ordered pralines for my wedding, and they were bland and meally.”
Confident in her ability to do better, she started making her own candies and gave them out to friends. They had very positive things to say about the pralines. After her children were diagnosed with nut allergies, Nicole made it her mission to create high quality candies, using only organic, non-GMO ingredients. First, though, she had to overcome a few obstacles.
Despite her excellent candy-making skills, Nicole needed help with the business side of starting a food manufacturing company. A lawyer by trade, Nicole had very little experience in running a business and didn’t really know where to begin. Nicole needed something that would serve as a guide and show her the ropes. It was for this reason that she decided to join Union Kitchen.
Working with Union Kitchen, Nicole developed the operational side to complement her passion for candy making. Additionally, Nicole, thanks to the added space and infrastructure, was able to experiment with her product and build out the systems necessary to scale a food product. Nicole was constantly in the Kitchen, looking to improve her product to match customer feedback. Today, Ella May Confections is available at Union Kitchen locations and on her website.