The Story of Raley's Confectionary


It's hard to say where the candy making adventure began.  Looking back I sometimes feel like I've always been on this journey. For the purposes of this narrative, lets start in the spring of 2006.  I was enrolled in the medical laboratory sciences program at the University of Central Florida.  Now, academics had never been a strong point of mine, but between my apathy for the subject in general, my teen(and tween) angst, and the difficulty of the program I was reaching spectacular new lows in achievement.

The University decided to finally put me out of my misery in the form of an academic suspension.  Shortly after hearing the news I sat down on the couch and realized that, for the first time in my life, the future was a clean slate.  There were no obligations and no plans.  I didn't have anyone telling me where to be or what to do.  I also didn't really know how I was going to feed and clothe myself, if I would be delivering pizza for the rest of my life.

Naturally, I did what most folks do when presented with such a heady dilemma.  I plopped down on the couch and turned on the television.  The Food Network happened to be on, and there was a guy in a brightly lit kitchen twirling a giant brightly colored hunk of molten sugar much to the delight of several dozen onlookers of all ages.  Little did I know that I was going to spend a lot of time in the kitchen with the guy on the TV.

I watched the segment to the end with lazy fascination rapidly turning into enchantment.  I could do that! I could make candy.  What's more, the Candymaker on TV was only a couple of hours away.  A few days later on the way back from an interstate motorcycle trip I stopped by the candy shop and somehow talked my way into a job.

From then until now I have made candy nearly every day.

To be continued... 

 

Wes Raley doing a demo at Universal Studios Orlando circa 2008

Wes Raley doing a demo at Universal Studios Orlando circa 2008