PIQUA – Winans Chocolates + Coffees has been chosen as one of 30-plus chocolate confectioners across the state to be part of a newly designed Ohio Tourism fall promotion called the “Ohio Buckeye Candy Trail.”
This trail is described on both the Tourism Ohio website (http://trails.ohio.org) and the Miami County Home Grown Great website (www.homegrowngreat.com/tour/ohio-buckeye-candy-trail) as providing “the ultimate opportunity to devour Ohio’s most beloved candy tradition – the buckeye! Named after the nut from the buckeye tree, this delectable treat is simple and sweet with just two components – peanut butter and chocolate!” On the websites the participating confectioners are listed by location along with a short description of their business.
The buckeye trail is all throughout Ohio, so it is a chance to get outside and check out the state. At each stop individuals will have the opportunity to enter a contest to win a trip for themselves and three friends to be treated to a morning candy kitchen experience making Buckeyes with the chocolate experts at Winans Chocolates + Coffees Chocolate Factory in Piqua. The winner also will take home a Winans Buckeye Basket loaded with chocolates and coffees.
So, how do you win you might be asking?
Individuals can enter by taking a photo of themselves with your buckeye purchase while visiting one of the 30-plus Buckeye Candy Trail participating chocolate companies then upload their photos to Instagram or Facebook using the hashtags #buckeyecandycontest and #buckeyecandytrail. The deadline for entry is midnight Nov. 17. The winner will be drawn on Nov. 19.
Winans is one of just a handful of chocolatiers who still hand roll and dip each buckeye. Laurie Winans Reiser described that Winans “mechanized” its buckeye operation several years ago so it now can dip three buckeyes at a time using a three-prong fork-like instrument designed by retired Piqua shop teacher Dixon Clement.
Joe Reiser, owner of Winans, recently presented the three-prong buckeye dipper at the Annual Retail Confectioners International Convention in Cleveland where his presentation was selected as “Best in Category of New Ideas.”
Winans production of Buckeyes has increased exponentially over the years. Laurie Winans Reiser estimated they hand dip more than half a million buckeyes per year. Each employee hand rolls three trays of buckeyes each morning then Bev Snyder, Winans buckeye dipper extraordinaire, dips the delicate peanut butter pieces throughout the day.
Joe Reiser said he expects sales of Winans buckeyes to increase even further with the opening of several new Winans stores in Columbus.
Individuals can come see the Winans Buckeyes being dipped during a factory tour held at the Piqua Winans Chocolate factory on Thursdays at 1 p.m. Advance reservations are required.