If you look forward to old-fashioned traditions at Christmas, Sevigny’s Thin Ribbon Candy is a sweet and colorful candy classic. Made in Brockton, MA, the colorful, compressed swoops of candy in flavors like cinnamon, peppermint, wintergreen, and orange have been sweetening the holiday season in New England and beyond for more than 150 years.
Sevigny’s Thin Ribbon Candy is actually made by F.B. Washburn Candy Corporation, America’s oldest family-owned candy business. Washburn Candy got its start in 1856, making the popular chocolate-covered Waleeco Cocoanut Bar, followed by the chocolate-covered Peanut Bar and hard candies like sour balls, peppermints, and lollipops. After making it through the Great Depression, Washburn Candy enjoyed several successful decades, but before long, the booming candy industry in America began to overtake the small family brand. In response, Washburn elected to discontinue its chocolate offerings in the mid-80s and focus instead on the hard stuff (hard candy, that is).
In 1986, Washburn purchased Sevigny’s Candy (its main ribbon candy competition), but continued to make and sell the sweet treat using the Sevigny’s name, which is why you see it on the box today instead of F.B. Washburn.
While most tastes today have moved on to chocolate kisses, rich truffles, and holiday versions of our favorite year-round candy bars, the annual box of ribbon candy, like candy corn or marshmallow chicks (before they started making marshmallow pumpkins, turkeys, trees, and hearts to cover every holiday) still has the ability to feel like a special once-a-year novelty. Plus, it’s just so darn pretty to look at. Nostalgia and good looks are likely what keeps it filling care packages and candy dishes each holiday season, despite being extremely fragile, prone to stickiness (think of lollipops without their wrappers), and reminiscent of the tooth-shattering candy described in a Laura Ingalls Wilder book.
So now we’re really curious — which holiday treats did you look forward to the most as a child? Ribbon candy? Gingerbread? Popcorn Balls? Do you still enjoy them? Let us know!
Can’t find Ribbon Candy in the store? Washburton Candy says the Ribbon Candy Man is here to help with online orders, but you can also try Amazon or the Vermont Country Store.
This post was first published in 2014 and has been updated.