This Page 13 ought to make your mouth water. Chocolate, pecans, caramel and other sweet delights come together inside a kitchen in Poplarville, Miss.
Laura Robicheaux started a candy company in Poplarville back in 1992. Today, Robicheaux Specialty Candy Inc. ships thousands of candies to stores around America.
Laura was a school teacher in Louisiana. She retired, moved to South Mississippi and capitalized on a desire to try something new.
"Everyone said, 'Start your own business and see what happens.' But I had no special talents, so I started with candy, and we just took off from there," Robicheaux said.
It took off like a rocket. Robicheaux's handmade candy can be found in gift shops and other retail outlets in 47 states. This nine-year-old South Mississippi company is just beginning its climb up the ladder of success.
"We're still growing, growing every year. Maybe $50,000, $60,000 a year. It's really exciting to see a little business grow."
It smells delicious in this kitchen. When you are a candy company in Poplarville, Miss., and you are competing with the big boys, you have to work extra hard. Laura travels to gift and food product trade shows across the country.
She's part of the "Make Mine Mississippi" campaign sponsored by the state Department of Agriculture and Commerce, and she relies on old fashioned word of mouth. But she says it takes tender loving care to raise a business.
"It's like having a baby and watching that baby grow, and you need to tend to it and keep it straight, pat it on the back and keep it going."