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Posted: Friday, July 29, 2016 11:00 pm
The candy-maker wants to call it quits.
Chuck Higgins, founder and proprietor of C.G. Higgins Confections, which has two locations in Santa Fe, says health problems have convinced him to sell his operation to “somebody with fresh enthusiasm. Someone who has a passion for chocolate and candy.”
Higgins, 68, said he’s tired. “I’ve been making candy for 35 years.”
He has been operating his production center and retail shop on St. Francis Drive at Ninita Street for about 15 years. Higgins also has operated a downtown shop on Lincoln Street, just north of the Plaza, since 2013. He sells his candies, Taos Cow ice cream as well as coffee, which he said comes from a cooperative in Nicaragua that’s Rainforest Alliance Certified.
“I’ve developed this great brand, this great format, a great product that tastes good,” Higgins said. “We make it all ourselves. The quiche, the truffles, the candy, the chocolate, the brittles.”
About a year ago, Higgins said, he had a transient ischemic attack, commonly called a mini stroke. “And that really kind of set me back,” he told a reporter. “It’s been really difficult to keep things going.”
He put the building on St. Francis Drive on the market a couple of months ago, he said. Then on Thursday he went public to sell his whole operation.
“I’m setting it up so the business is available with all the equipment, all the expertise, the branding, the training, everything they need to just slide right into it,” Higgins said.
He said whoever takes over can either buy or lease the building.
Higgins grew up in Iowa. For years he made a living selling candy, nuts and other treats at state fairs across the country, operating out of New Orleans and Little Rock, Ark. In the mid-1990s, he came to New Mexico to sell his caramel apples at a concession stand at the state fair. He’s lived in the state since, first in Los Lunas, where for a short time he had a restaurant. He said he worked at the New Mexico State Fair for 20 years at a booth called “Chuck’s Nuts.”
“I want to live in Santa Fe for many years,” Higgins said. “The main thing is to find a way to gently step back and turn over the day-to-day to new owners.”