Candy maker continues family legacy

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By Doug Ponder

A local business owner is continuing her family’s heritage at her candy shop in Hodgenville.

MAM Candy is a homemade candy store that is located at 218 North Lincoln Boulevard in Hodgenville. Their hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

MAM Candy sells a wide variety of homemade candies including chocolates, bon-bons, bourbon balls, caramels, pulled cream candy, candy apples and much more. Everything in the store is homemade and contains no additives or preservatives.

Owner Rooney Gray said she opened the store in 2010 and that business continues to grow each year. Gray said she has also sold her candy at several other locations throughout the years in Hodgenville and Elizabethtown.

“I have been extremely blessed,” Gray said. “It’s to the point now to where I know the candy that everyone likes around here.”

MAM Candy ships anywhere in the United States and the store also supplies candy for weddings, wedding receptions, birthdays, anniversaries and other events.

Aside from events and recpetions, Rooney said a lot of people will buy specific candies as gifts for their family or friends.

“When you don’t know what kind of gift to give someone, candy is always a great gift,” Rooney said. “Candy always makes people happy and brightens up their day.”

Rooney said that the name of the store contains the abbreviations of three of her family members. However, she said one of her customers told her that the name stood for “yes mam, I will have another piece.”

“The first “m” is after my grandmother Mary Elizabeth, the “a” is after my mom’s name Mary Anderson and the last “m” is after my daughter whose name is also Mary Elizabeth,” Rooney said. “It’s confusing but that’s how the name was created.”

Rooney said that her family has made candy ever since she could remember and that there was always candy being made at her house when she was a child.

“When I was a child growing up in Mt. Sterling, I would always come home from school to candy at the house. It just appeared while I was at school,” Gray said. “My grandmother made candy in the 1920s and my mom used her recipes. The recipes were a secret and I finally told my mom that unless you want to take the recipes to your grave, you need to teach your children.”

As a result, Gray said her family scheduled a “candy cooking” weekend in the mid 1970s. Gray said they all made pulled cream candy from her grandmother’s recipe.

“I was instantly addicted and I loved it,” Gray said. “Ever since then my family has had a candy making weekend every second weekend in November. My sister and the rest of the family would come in and we would all make candy. We schedule it then so we can get all the candy made for the holidays.”

After working as an educator for 30 years, Rooney said she has more time to make candy and that MAM Candy is a great way for her to continue making and selling a product she loves.

“I will continue doing this as long as I can,” Rooney said. “The recipe has stayed in the family and I have two daughters that will continue making the candy after I am gone. The tradition will be passed down.