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Our Story

Started in Bristol, Tennessee by Lewis and Hattie Ratliff, Ratliff Candy Company has been turning out delectable melt-in-your-mouth peppermint candy for over half a century. Still family owned and operated, today Ratliff Candy Company is operated by Ken Ratliff and son, Mike, the third generation of Ratliff candy makers.

The nostalgia evoked by slowly savoring a Ratliff peppermint is indeed, timeless. In fact, not much has changed with the manufacturing process since Lewis and Hattie produced that first batch of their beloved confection in 1952. There are no whirring conveyor belts or computerized equipment. The machinery in use at Ratliff could have easily been considered antiques when the company first opened its doors, consisting of a small fleet of steel and iron implements, some of whose gears have steadily been spinning for over a hundred years.

But the machinery is just a means to an end because much of the process can only be done by hand. Every day from 7:00 am until 1:00 pm, Ken and Mike can be found in their factory hand kneading, pulling and rolling miles of candy logs that will be transformed into their unique products.

Working quickly to avoid burns and the brittleness of the cooling process, the Ratliffs work together as a confectionary dynamic duo, stretching and cutting until peppermint pillows and peanut butter sticks surround them. They then turn their attention to sculpting the warm candy logs into unique hand-formed items such as candy cane baskets, cups and candle holders.

The Ratliff's unwavering philosophy of making unique handmade candies in small batches, has recently caught the attention of large, national retailers such as the QVC Network, Bloomingdale's and Fannie Mae. Ratliff has been shipping candy by mail since 1985, sharing with the world what's affectionately known in the South as "the best candy you ever put in your mouth."

As with many things, it's not the trip, it's the destination. And with Ratliff Candy Company, you will know that you have arrived the moment you open the box and the sweet lingering smell of peppermint transports you back to a simpler time.

Ken Ratliff



Mike Ratliff