Meet North Carolina’s Candy Makers


Piedmont Candy Company

This candy outfit is rooted in Lexington, North Carolina history, established in the year 1890. Piedmont Candy makes gluten-free puffed mints and candies out of pure cane sugar.

A variety of flavors are offered under the brand name Red Bird, from lemon to cinnamon. The company’s staple candy is its peppermint puffs, which were historically made using copper kettles that heated pure cane sugar to 300 degrees.

The candies are sold in dollar stores, grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores and other locations throughout North Carolina, and nearby at the The Lexington Candy Factory.

Piedmont Candy also has an e-marketplace on its website, along with a series of candy recipes and ideas created in 2015 to celebrate Piedmont Candy’s 125th birthday. The company makes 55,000 pounds of candy a day.

Doug Reid purchased the company from the founding family, the Ebeleins, in 1987—his son Chris Reid now serves as CEO. Then in 2013, Lexington’s The Dispatch reported the company received a $14.4 million investment from Charlotte firm Plexus Capital. The parameters of the deal also included a 100 percent of sale proceeds to buy out inactive shareholders and provide funds for growth.

A company representative declined to discuss specifics of the investment or goals as a result, other than Piedmont Candy plans continue to grow the brand and add new flavors, like birthday cake, pictured above.