Page 13: Sweet handmade candy

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Sweet, handmade pecan pralines are cooked and mixed by Meagan Sheets at Coast Candymakers. Inside the shop you'll find everything from chocolate dipped orange peels to peanut brittle.

"We're always coming up with new things. We introduced about six new things last week" said Sheets.

Island View Casino in Gulfport decided to venture into the candy game back in June. They opened the shop after researching the candy making business and realizing there was a demand.

"People came to our coffee shop looking for candy. A few of our owners had old family recipes. We studied candy making in New Orleans. We thought it would be great for our property" said David Crabtree with the casino's Food and Beverage Department.

On one hand you have big candy makers who use tons of ingredients in huge machines and conveyer belts in a factory. At the shop it's all about the art of handmade candy. The staff at Island View welcomed the challenge to get into the candy making business.

The Food and Beverage Department and casino pastry chefs began experimenting with these confections.

"I went to culinary school and studied pastry making. We came in before opening and it was trial and error" Sheets said.

It's worked. More and more people are discovering Coast Candymakers, a sweet little shop next to Island View's Beach Blvd. Steamer restaurant.

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