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Quin Candy

From a storefront she personally describes as “'Yo! MTV Raps' meets a Paris metro station,” Portland, Oregon baker-about-town Jami Curl crafts candy both nostalgic and whimsical — like the candy you loved way back when. Future meets past in a colorful clash of equally vibrant flavors, like strawberry lemonade gumdrops (childhood in candy form), that might just give you a sugar high — but it’d be from pure fruit instead of a refined sugar overload. 

She might be a successful business owner and expert candy creator, but in a way, Jami never really grew up. At least, her sweet tooth stuck around, and with it a childlike enthusiasm for all things candy. She had her training in college, where she hawked baked goods to her professors and classmates (we assume they were so good, no one thought to accuse her of bribery). She went on to found Portland sweets staple Saint Cupcake, spending eight years establishing a veritable cupcake empire before moving on to her new, Willy Wonka-esque endeavor. Jami focuses on making lollipops (traditional and “bakery-inspired”), gummies, marshmallows, and other hard candies. She only uses real fruit, which she roasts first to capture the full range of its sweetness, and lots of natural, “straight-up sustainable” ingredients. The idea isn’t to wow you with whacky flavors, but rather to make much-better renditions of heartstring-tugging classics.

Jami’s stores and the Quin brand are quintessentially Portland, claiming top tourist attraction status. “This is as Portland as it gets,” says Jami. It’s tastebud transportation: to the West coast and to the placeless time of childhood memories.

Maker website: quincandy.com

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