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FACES: St. Hilaire candy shop gears up for sweet holidays

ST. HILAIRE, Minn. -- In Sharon Hasby's workshop, 'tis the season for chocolate -- and for peanut butter, coconut and cappuccino, too. Hasby makes candy year-round, but has the biggest sales during the holiday season. Hasby sells a variety of can...

Sharon Hasby
In 2006, Sharon Hasby began making and selling her candy under the name of Sharon's Heavenly Truffles Inc. She makes 37 flavors of truffles, including pumpkin spice, cherry and tropical. She also makes other kinds of candy, including peanut butter balls, several flavors of fudge and candy bar "knock-offs." John Brose photo

ST. HILAIRE, Minn. -- In Sharon Hasby's workshop, 'tis the season for chocolate -- and for peanut butter, coconut and cappuccino, too.

Hasby makes candy year-round, but has the biggest sales during the holiday season. Hasby sells a variety of candy, most of it some variation of chocolate, from her store/candy-making shop in St. Hilaire. She also sells it at craft shows in northwest Minnesota and northeast North Dakota and at the Kruse-Inn gas station and convenience store in St. Hilaire.

Hasby has been making for about 15 years. She and her mom, Sandy Huot, now deceased, made candy as Christmas gifts for family and friends, Hasby said.

"It was a cheap way to make everyone feel special at Christmas.

"One year after we did the truffles and were passing them out, someone said, 'These are so good, you could sell them."'

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In 2006, Hasby began making and selling her candy under the name of Sharon's Heavenly Truffles Inc. She makes 37 flavors of truffles, including pumpkin spice, cherry and tropical. She also makes other kinds of candy, including peanut butter balls, several flavors of fudge and candy bar "knock-offs."

Candy making

"I love making candy. I would love to do this full-time," she said. Hasby is growing her business slowly, so for now she makes candy several times a week, sandwiching production in between working three part-time jobs.

She makes the candy in the kitchen in the upper level of a garage on Main Street in St. Hilaire. On a recent morning, Hasby was stirring butter, cream and sugar in a saucepan on top of a stove for a batch of coconut truffles She has 37 flavors of extracts, she said.

When the butter, cream and sugar mixture was heated, she added egg yolks that she earlier had stirred together. She uses extracts to flavor the truffles, but doesn't put any nuts in them.

"Truffles are smooth. They're not supposed to crunch."

When the truffle making was complete, Hasby poured the concoction into a mold and put it in the refrigerator to cool. Once the candy is "set," it doesn't have to be refrigerated.

"I love all of the different flavors," Hasby said. "I have to admit, I like cooking them more than molding them." She has many different types of molds and can make candy for weddings and other special occasions.

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Truffle making takes about three hours from start to finish.

Personal touch

Hasby hand-wraps each piece of candy and will custom-make flavors for customers. She is working on creating pumpkin and maple fudge, two flavors customers mentioned they would like.

"I'm open to suggestions if someone wants something special."

Hasby expects to be busy during the next two months filling orders for the holiday season.

"Chocolate makes the best Christmas present because nobody returns chocolate," she said.

Reach Bailey at (701) 787-6753; (800) 477-6572, ext. 753; or send email to abailey@gfherald.com .

Related Topics: PENNINGTON COUNTY
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