Shop Talk at Goumas Confections
Co-owner, Goumas Confections
1287 Log Pond Dr., Newark
Q: You come from a family of candy makers, and own this shop with your brother, Greg. How long have you been making candy?
A: I've been doing this since 1973, and Greg's been doing this since '85. Our grandfather started in 1911.
Q: And you're not a figurehead owner: We're standing here in the candy kitchen talking while you stir 60 pounds of boiling caramel with a three-foot spoon in a giant pot. How long will you work on this batch?
A: I'll stir this about 45 minutes.
Q: So you don't ever have to go to the gym, eh?
A: Only for my lower body. (Smiles.)
Q: What are you making with the caramel?
A: Once we finish here, I'm going to dip Rice Krispie treats in it, pretzel rods in it, and I'm going to make English turtles.
Q: Christmas is your busiest time of the year, but Easter is second. How many hours a day are you working to prep?
A: Right now, just probably nine or 10. Nothing major.
Q: What are your most popular candies?
A: Our pecan turtles. Our English toffee. Our caramel-wrapped caramel.
Q: The "Goomies" are pretty popular too, I hear. What are they?
A: The Rice Krispie treat dipped in caramel, and then covered in chocolate. And for Easter, we'll sprinkle on some jimmies.
Q: What's your personal favorite?
A: At Christmas, I make pecan brittle, and that is one of the best things I've ever had. That's a recipe my dad didn't give me, so I had to take the peanut brittle recipe and figure it out. It's incredible.
Q: You offer a vast array of candies-from truffles to chocolate letters to chocolate-dipped marshmallow Peeps. What's your favorite thing to make?
A: I make these little chocolate bowls. People give me a size to make, and I make it, and they fill it with fruit or whatever. I had one lady who wanted 50 and filled them with ice cream for a party she was having.
Q: What do you love about what you do?
A: I put sugar, corn syrup, cream and butter together to make this (caramel), and you hear people go, "Oh my gosh... I've never tasted anything like it!" That's pretty satisfying.... (And) this is the one thing that I have left from my dad. He taught me everything that I know how to do in my business.