Some people probably thought Dena Manning was out of her mind.
Almost two years ago, she bought a Nashville, N.C., candy company in foreclosure.
Manning, 52, of Raleigh, had no business experience, let alone any in the food industry. She had spent her adulthood as a stay-at-home mom, raising two sons and a daughter, stitching school uniforms, coaching her sons’ baseball team and teaching youth religion classes at St. Francis of Assisi Church in North Raleigh.
But Manning had known the candy company’s previous owners and loved the product an old fashioned hard candy with a coconut stripe down the center. Manning was certain that bringing back this confection, which had been off the market since 2009, was too valuable an opportunity to pass up.
“I knew the product was so good,” she explained. “I knew it had a following.”
Manning was right. Local retailers are delighted to see Butterfields candy return to their shelves.
Elizabeth Mills has owned Gingham Posh, a North Raleigh gift basket company since 2006. Butterfields’ top selling Peach Buds candy were a staple in her gift baskets featuring North Carolina products. (“It tastes like you’re eating a peach,” Mills said.) She was disappointed when she called to place an order about four years ago and found the phone number disconnected. Then, last year, someone wandered into her store off Glenwood Avenue with Butterfields samples and brochures.