MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The holidays are a busy time for the hundreds of elves cranking out candy at a Twin Cities company that is the embodiment of the American dream.

Grizzlies. Sea Salt Truffles. Peppermint Bark. It’s all at Abdallah Candies, a family business started by an American immigrant with a dream.

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This week, DeRusha Eats at Abdallah Candies in Burnsville.

There is something magical about a candy factory.

Giant kettles of caramel and beautiful waterfalls of chocolate fill the Abdallah Candies factory in Burnsville.

“This is our second location in Burnsville,” president Steve Hegedus said.

Abdallah Candies has been around since 1909. Hegedus is the fourth generation president.

“From the time I could see over the top of a candy table, I was here,” he said.

His great-grandfather Albert Abdallah came to the Twin Cities from Lebanon in 1909. He fell in love with Helen, Hegedus’ great-grandmother, and they started making candy.

Now, Abdallah Candies has grown from a Minneapolis storefront with a restaurant to a company making 20,000 pounds of candy a day.

It’s a combination of science and art.

“It takes about 45 minutes per batch, that’s what makes our caramels so good,” Hegedus said.

Machines that are 60 years old make recipes that are 100 years old.

“These are lemon creams. These are one of the most traditional and oldest recipes we have at Abdallah’s,” he said.

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Talented candymakers are everywhere.

Sponge candy gets hand dipped, then bathed in chocolate and then inspected to make sure there’s no gap or way moisture can get in.

“Every piece is perfectly irregular,” Hegedus said.

Two women use spoons and tweezers to cluster the nut clusters. One worker hand flings caramel on top of Peanut Butter Crisps! It’s touch and feel behind the perfect flavor of Abdallah’s famous crèmes.

Hegedus’ son also works at the factory; a fifth generation worker.

“We’re very proud of that. It’s nice to work with your family. It can be challenging, but we like it as parents I think more than kids like it as kids,” he said.

Abdallah makes more than 200 different types of candy.

“A little of lot is what we make,” he said.

From their Minnesota family to yours.

“It’s a fun business, it’s a happy business,” Hegedus said. “It’s hard not to smile when you’re making people happy.”

Abdallah Candies announced last week they are expanding to a second plant in Apple Valley.

They said 40 percent of their business is in November and December as people prepare for the holidays. The Burnsville location does sell seconds and offers good deals.

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For more information, visit Abdallah Candies online.

Jason DeRusha