Indy Treasures: Albansese Candy Factory and Outlet Store


Raewyn Updike

Albanese Candy Factory and Outlet Store.

Raewyn Updike, Social Media Manager

All alone on the side of Highway 30, two hours and 24 minutes from SHS in Merrillville, Indiana, stands the Albanese Candy Factory and Outlet Store. Unlike any other candy company in the U.S., this is the only candy company that offers a public tour for gummi manufacturing.

The cottage-like exterior attached to the front of the factory gave off a magical and mysterious vibe, like watching “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” for the first time. Upon entry, I was greeted by vibrant colors of candy, walls and packaging as well as Halloween decor. Right after walking in, to the left was the chocolate tube. A tube from ceiling to checkout stand, about a foot wide funneling chocolate to an unknown, out of sight location. Surrounding the stand was Albanese Candy Factory merch and lots of chocolate covered treats.

To the right of the entry were clear containers filled with candy from chocolate covered raisins, to sweet peach rings. All the boxes of candy formed a barrier between the cashiers and candy baggers from the customers. Behind all the candy on the back wall, there were windows letting anyone peer into the factory and watch things be made, but really just make the workers uncomfortable with your staring.

I took myself on a quick tour of the store and decided which candy I was going to purchase, then waved down a worker. I was asked what I wanted, what size bag and how much of the specific candy in said bag. The whole ordeal was a little nerve wracking, I felt a little under pressure to tell the worker as fast as I could what I wanted and how much, when I didn’t exactly think that far ahead, because so many other people were waiting to be helped. After my goodies were bagged, weighed and stickered, I went to other parts of the store to repeat the process with different items.

There was a separate line where I then went to get all the bags of sweets I had collected scanned and paid for. After that, I took one last round to see all the varieties of candy offered, and that was it. The items I got consisted of sour pumpkin gummies, various flavors of sour belts, sugar gummy rings, chocolate covered raisins and sour gummy bears and dots, which were fresh and delicious.

Overall, the experience was enjoyable however minorly stressful. While most of the contents of the store can be found elsewhere, the experience of the shop and the freshness of the products is like no other. While the experience was overall positive, I don’t think it’s worth the two and a half hour drive. However, if already driving by, it’s worth the stop.