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Ribbon Candy: An Old-Fashioned Holiday Favorite

Updated on August 20, 2015

Ribbon Candy . . . A Festival of Color (and Flavors)

Ribbon candy . . . beautiful, satin-sheened, festive-colored hard candy . . . most often appears during the hoiday season at the end of every year.

Although ribbon candy was not part of my family's humble holdiay tradition, as a child, I still marvelled at the luscious colors, the perfectly uniform loops whenever I would see it in the "downtown" stores.

To this day, ribbon candy still makes me smile . . . so I decided to create this simple gallery so that I could stop by and marvel whenever I wanted. Come take a stroll with me . . . and you just might learn a thing or two!

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Photo used under Creative Commons from: Karen Juliano, on Flickr

A Bit of Ribbon Candy History

Photo used under Creative Commons from: Pumpkin Passion, on Flickr

F.B. Washburn founded in 1856 is known as the oldest candy maker in the U.S. and gets credit for creating a number of hard candies including ribbon candy.

History says that when the company began to struggle during the Great Depression, it was purchased by Harry Gilson in 1933. Taking over from their father, Harry's two sons purchased Sevigny's Candy (a major competitor in the ribbon candy business) 1986. And the third generation of Gilsons continue to use the Sevigny name as their ribbon candy brand today.

While Washbrun/Sevigny is the largest manufacturer of ribbon candy and supplies large chains like Wal-mart, CVS and other retailers in the U.S. and Canada . . . it is not the only ribbon candy producer.

There are dozens of smaller candy makers that keep the ribbon candy tradtion alive, too . . . by making this holiday confection by hand and distributing it regionally.

Boxed Ribbon Candy - Photo used under Creative Commons from: The D34n, on Flickr

Sevigny's Ribbon Candy

During the holidays, if you can't find a box of Sevigny's Ribbon Candy in your local Wal-Mart, CVS or other large retailer, then you can order it here:

Sevigny's Thin Ribbon Candy
Sevigny's Thin Ribbon Candy

"Its a little hard to break apart and eat without it flying everywhere, but the colors are so pretty and each ribbon is tasty!"


Making Ribbon Candy By Hand

Oh, the Colors! Oh, the Flavors! - Brings new meaning to the phrase "eye candy"

Photo used under Creative Commons from: future15pic, on Flickr

Besides the vibrant rainbow of colors . . . handmade ribbon candy is made in a variety of fruity or minty flavors (depending upon the candymaker):

  • banana :: bubblegum :: butterscotch
  • cinnamon :: clove :: cotton candy
  • pineapple :: cherry :: grape
  • green apple :: licorice :: orange
  • peppermint :: spearmint :: sugar plum

Have you ever had ribbon candy?

See results

How Hilliard's House of Candy . . . Does It

Serving Ribbon Candy In-Style - Oftentimes during the holidays ribbon candy is displayed in a crystal bowl or dish

Photo used under Creative Commons from: foodchronicles

A Beautiful Lead Crystal Dish

Reed & Barton Crystal Soho 10-Inch Square Bowl
Reed & Barton Crystal Soho 10-Inch Square Bowl

Vertical cuts embellish the sides of the bowl and catch the light with flame-like brilliance. Made of heavy, full-lead crystal,


Handmade Ribbon Candy Makers - (Not the Mass Produced Stuff)

Photo used under Creative Commons from: sarowen, on Flickr


Photo used under Creative Commons from: future15pic, on Flickr

Is Ribbon Candy A Family Favorite? - Or, Just Let Me Know You Stopped By . . .

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    • Linda Grenier profile image

      Linda Grenier 3 years ago

      Add Your Comment.. I am trying to keep my children in tuned with old traditions, we roasted chestnuts on Thanksgiving and ribbon candy will definitely be on the table for Christmas it was interesting to see how it was made. it could easily become a lost art

    • profile image

      Elastara 4 years ago

      Gee, this is something new to me and it is eye-catching and they absolutely make me wanna eat one of these ribbon candies or even more of these candies!

    • ManipledMutineer profile image

      ManipledMutineer 4 years ago

      Completely new to me, looks delicious!

    • Board-Game-Brooke profile image

      C A Chancellor 5 years ago from US/TN

      I really don't think I've ever seen ribbon candy before! It looks so pretty.

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 5 years ago from Jersey Shore

      We always had ribbon candy during the holidays and my sister and I would always go for the peppermint-brings back good memories :>)

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      StaCslns 5 years ago

      Ribbon candy is still one of my favorites! Thanks for making me smile!

    • vineliner57 profile image

      Hal Gall 5 years ago from Bloomington, IN

      The ribbon candy was always the last thing left after the cookies and other goodies were all gone when I was growing up. Mom always bought enough to last a while, as it was pretty inexpensive and had decent shelf life. Nice lens!

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 5 years ago

      Classic and delicious!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Ribbon candy was always a family favorite growing up and the real thin ones were my most favorite...especially pineapple, cinnamon, cherry, banana and I liked how a little bit of clove made my tongue you a little numb!

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      MiaMusement 5 years ago

      It's almost too pretty to eat! With "almost" being a key word there... ;-)

    • Dusty2 LM profile image

      Dusty2 LM 5 years ago

      Awesome lens. As long as I can remember this is one one of my favorite candies at Christmas time and still is today. Thank you for stopping by my Traditional Irish Plum Pudding Recipe and giving it a "thumbs up. I appreciate it. Enjoy the Plum pudiing and Merry Xmas!

    • lilymom24 profile image

      lilymom24 6 years ago

      Ribbon candy brings back a lot of good memories for me. My grandparents used to share some every Christmas. Nice lens. =)

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      RinchenChodron 6 years ago

      I loved it as a child - thank you for letting me know where I can order it. It was not until I was an adult that I learned to like chocolate.

    • victoriuh profile image

      victoriuh 6 years ago

      I LOVE ribbon candy. We always had it for Christmas. I was just sitting her thinking of past holidays and wishing I had some. I think I should start a new tradition next year!

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      julieannbrady 6 years ago

      Oh yes indeed, my dear, ribbon candy was a favorite and still is.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      My grandmother always had a dish of hard candies, including ribbon candy, at Christmas time. Very interesting to see how these candies are made. Thanks!

    • profile image

      miaponzo 6 years ago

      Since I was a little child we have been having this candy!!! Blessed!!!

    • profile image

      JoshK47 6 years ago

      With my love of retro and vintage type candies, I certainly would love to get some sometime... surprised I haven't already - very fun lens! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • fugeecat lm profile image

      fugeecat lm 6 years ago

      My mom used to put out a dish of hard candy for the holidays. We all wanted the ribbon candy because it seemed like you got more candy in one piece than with the other candies she had in the dish.

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      Tamara14 6 years ago

      Wow! Never heard of it and there's nothing like that here in Europe I think. Looks just awesome and I'll make sure my hubby gets me some next time he's in the States on business. Thanks for so many colors in this cold foggy morning here. Blessed~

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      blanckj 6 years ago

      Old time favorite my mom used to get us for Christmas.

    • JenOfChicago LM profile image

      JenOfChicago LM 7 years ago

      I love these old fashioned candies!

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      dessertlover 7 years ago

      This lens whisks me back to my Grandparent's house....they used to have it in the candy jar every Christmas. Haven't had any in a while (since they've passed), but it sure looks good.

    • Sensitive Fern profile image

      Sensitive Fern 7 years ago

      What a pretty lens!

    • DecoratingEvents profile image

      DecoratingEvents 7 years ago

      Nice and very informative Ribbon Candy lens!