Jolly Ranchers are small, hard candies in assorted fruit flavors which are grape, apple, watermelon, cherry and blue raspberry.
The Jolly Rancher Candy Company was founded in Golden, Colorado, by Bill and Dorothy Harmsen in 1949. They called the company Jolly Rancher to suggest a hospitable, western company. The company originally made ice cream, chocolate and hard candy. [more below]
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As hard candy sales grew, however, they began to concentrate on developing their "Famous for Flavor" line of hard candies. Today Jolly Ranchers are made by the Hershey Company.
I have eaten and loved jolly ranchers ever since I can remember. It was always a treat for my friends and me to go to the store, mostly during the summer and buy pocketfuls of jolly ranchers that would only last us that very day. We would go back soon, if not the next day, and stock up again.
Then, it was off to riding bikes, sliding on cardboard boxes down the steepest hill we could find, and off to the baseball games at night to see our secret crush play. You could also get away with jolly ranchers at school, as long as you weren't asked a question, or asked to recite. It was not something that you could swallow unless it happened to be almost all gone. They were always such a wonderful burst of flavor. I love them. ~ Debbie from Texas