From a renovated grocery store in Burlington comes that latest Pride of Dakota product. Mikey's Country Candy unveiled a trio of Pride of Dakota candy bars Wednesday at Home Sweet Home of Minot.
"I'm confident this product is going to be very successful. It's really a kind of tribute to our Pride of Dakota program," said Chuck Fleming, Bismarck, marketing coordinator for the North Dakota Department of Agriculture. "As you look at the label, there's no question about from where it came. It's very attractive outside and the inside looks so nice that maybe you shouldn't eat it."
The candy bars were created by Cindy Yale and Nyla Sorenson. The two Burlington residents acquired Mikey's Country Candy nine months ago when Mikey Wilkens of Hannover decided to retire from business after a 20-year run.
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The Pride of Dakota candy bars carry the logo outside and inside. The candy bars are made in Burlington.
"The logo is what it's all about and it's Nyla's expertise that makes it so wonderful," said Yale. "I knew I couldn't do this on my own so I asked Nyla to be a partner."
Sorenson's background includes 20 years as a 4H leader and an enthusiasm for baking.
"Baking just kind of comes naturally for me. I make a lot of candy and things at home. I just love doing it," said Sorenson.
"We love Pride of Dakota products and what they mean to the people of North Dakota," added Yale. "We were thinking about new products and got the idea from a magnet on the refrigerator. We asked ourselves if we could create a Pride of Dakota candy bar with a logo on it."
The result turned out to be three 1-ounce candy bars - dark chocolate, chocolate and white chocolate; the latter two with crispies included. The hope is that the candy bars will carry Pride of Dakota beyond the borders of the state.
Linda Olson, owner of Home Sweet Home and recent winner of the "Pride of Dakota Retailer-of-the-Year," said the candy bars are a very good fit for the Pride of Dakota lineup.
"This candy bar will really make a statement about Pride of Dakota and will be an excellent marketing tool," claimed Olson. "Local people and tourists buy Pride of Dakota gift items all the time."
Yale said Home Sweet Home was the perfect choice to debut the new candy bar, citing Olson's commitment to Pride of Dakota products. Olson, who often fills requests for Pride of Dakota gift baskets, said the candy bar will make an excellent addition. Fleming agreed.
"We get requests from organizations that want gift baskets from North Dakota for conventions and visitors. I think there will be wide use of this product," said Fleming.
While the candy bars are now available at Home Sweet Home, Mikey's Country Candy will begin the task of finding other retail outlets for their sweet products. According to Yale, the timing of the release of the candy bars is great because 2010 marks the 25th anniversary of Pride of Dakota.
"We'll distribute to any business who wants to carry it," said Yale. "We'll also be offering it at the Pride of Dakota shows."
There are currently over 400 Pride of Dakota members in North Dakota.