INSPIRED BY THE Sutter's Mill meteorite, Rafferty's Candies store owners, Lori and Brad Rafferty created a sugar-coated coconut confection similar in appearance to the stuff that fell from the sky. Their candy store is located in Garden Valley. Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene


Rafferty’s Candies celebrates one-year anniversary

By From page A3 | June 13, 2012

Life is sweet for Rafferty’s Candies as it celebrated its one year anniversary on June 9.

Owned and operated by Lori and Brad Rafferty, the Garden Valley store sells a variety of candies, chocolates and specialty items that will appeal to anyone with a sweet tooth. And as a special offer beginning in June, customers can receive a 10 percent discount on whatever candy they buy on Tuesdays.

“We make 70 percent of the candy here. We’re the only ones in El Dorado County who make this much candy on the premises,” Brad Rafferty said.

Some of Rafferty’s best-selling candies are the different varieties of brittle they make including those with peanuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, cashews or pecans. On occasion they also make brittles with macadamia nuts, coconut, walnuts or mixed nuts. All of them are delicious and buttery but the cashew and peanut brittles are two of their biggest sellers, according to Brad.

If you time it right, you can watch them make the brittle behind the counter as they stir up a batch and then pat it out on a huge marble slab to cool. The warm sweet fragrance hangs in the air and is enough to make anyone want to take home a bag.

Other specialty candies they hand make include English toffee, honeycomb, fudge, divinity, ugly cups, clusters, sugar-free chocolate clusters, rocky road, haystacks, pecan caramel delights, and caramel squares and suckers.

In addition they sell assorted candies including jelly bellys, taffy, seasonal candies, licorice, suckers, and other items that appeal particularly to children.

The store has also come up with some unique sweets you won’t find anywhere else. In honor of all the publicity surrounding the Sutter’s Mill Meteor, they are selling a Garden Valley Meteorite that is a coconut confection rolled in black sugar and enclosed in its own display box.
Considerably less expensive than the real thing, a good-sized chunk will only set you back $2, or you can buy pieces in bulk for $5 for a half pound.
“We decided to make them because everybody was talking about the meteor that fell and we wanted to bring some fun to the story,” said Brad.
They also sell what’s called “Irish Potatoes.” Those are fingerling shaped pieces of coconut mixed with other ingredients that are then rolled in cinnamon powder. Brad said he found a recipe, tweaked it and came up with a surprisingly good treat.
Making candy is a family tradition for Brad who is a second generation candy maker. Hung on the walls of the candy shop are pictures from the eight candy stores that Brad’s parents owned from 1967 to 1997 before they retired. Brad ran the one in Redding for a time.

“Everything here replicates what was part of the family business,” said Brad. “The counters, shelves and selection of candies. We have all the original recipes from the family stores.” Being a carpenter by trade, Brian built all shelves and the counter in the store himself.

Lori, on the other hand, is new to the candy business as she is retired from Placer County where she worked in IT support for the personnel department.

Brad said they can dip 240 pounds of chocolate a day but generally make about 150 pounds of candy a week. They buy their chocolate in bulk from Lititz, Pa. and then melt it and add nuts and other ingredients. They buy their suckers from the same family owned business that his father bought his from.

Their reputation for selling quality candy brings in customers from beyond the local area. “We have people drive in from Folsom and Roseville. One couple even came in and bought 15 pounds of chocolate, which they took on the plane home with them to Indiana,” said Brad. “We have a name that’s been around since 1967.”

The couple said that business is good, especially in this economy. “We have two employees and may be hiring one or two more by the end of summer,” said Brad. They estimate their annual sales at $100,000.

Rafferty’s Candies is located at 4862 Black Oak Mine Road in Garden Valley. They are open daily at 11 am. Closing times are 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 5 p.m. on Sunday and Monday. Online ordering can be done through their Website at

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or [email protected] Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.

Dawn Hodson

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Special Publications »

    Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service (updated 4/30/2015) and Privacy Policy (updated 4/7/2015).
    Copyright (c) 2016 McNaughton Newspapers, Inc., a family-owned local media company that proudly publishes the Daily Republic, Mountain Democrat, Davis Enterprise, Village Life and other community-driven publications.