"Flicks" Candy Comeback

April 3, 2009 9:13:42 PM PDT
A sweet treat that was once a favorite at movie theaters is making a comeback.Remember "Flicks"?

If the name doesn't ring a bell ... Seeing them just might. They're back in the candy isle ... And now ... They're being churned out right here in the Valley.

The first batch of Flicks Chocolate. was made more than a century ago at Ghiradelli Square in San Francisco. The quarter sized disks became a movie theatre favorite on the west coast. Until the 1980's, when the candy maker stopped making them. Fast forward to a new century ... The year 2000. Jim Tjerrild, a mechanical engineer from Fresno was installing a machine he invented for Ghiradelli ... when something caught his eye.

Jim always wondered what had happened to his favorite childhood candy.

Jim bought the rights to make Flicks in 2004, shipped the equipment from San Francisco to Fowler, and refurbished each piece himself.

This loud, grumpy, turn of the century behemoth from 1904, is the original machine that churned out the first Flicks Chocolate back in the day. The classic sweet treat is made quick, packaged quick and shipped quick from right here in the Valley.

Jim says the modern day Flicks are wrapped in the same shiny foil paper and taste just like the original because he uses the exact same ingredients including a Ghiradelli mix.

There may not be any Oompa Loompas in this chocolate factory but every once in a while Jim will hear a reference to the most famous and wacky, candy maker of all time.

"The Willy Wonka of Fresno."

Sales are steadily growing at grocery and convenience stores. They went from $4,000 in 2004 to $300,000 in 2008. Despite the bad economy, Jim projects half a million dollars in sales this year.

Jim says getting Flicks back into movie theatres is a lot more complicated than in the old days. But it won't stop him from his goal of getting the milky wafers in as many concession stands as possible-- where their loyal following began.

www.flickscandy.com

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