COLUMN: The Jolly Rancher people know what they’re doing


Adam Tumino

Adam Tumino, Columnist

When the word genius is mentioned, there are several names that immediately come to mind. People like Albert Einstein, Sir Isaac Newton and Marie Curie are among some of history’s best scientific minds. Mozart and Beethoven may be considered musical geniuses. But there are two names that are criminally overlooked when the concept of genius is discussed.

They are Bill and Dorothy Harmsen, and if you do not recognize these names you should frankly be ashamed of yourself.

On May, 28, 1949 in the town of Golden, Colorado, the Harmsens’ changed the face of history when they opened an ice cream shop with a name that has been near and dear to my heart for my entire life. That name? Jolly Rancher.

The Harmsen family no longer controls the Jolly Rancher name, but that does not mean that their contributions to society should go unnoticed.

Nearly everything the Jolly Rancher company has produced since that fateful day has been amazing. They have some misses, like the cinnamon-flavored hard candies, but Jolly Rancher products are like Steven Spielberg movies, even the bad ones are at least interesting.

But let’s focus on the good, and there is a lot of good to focus on. The most well-known Jolly Rancher products are probably the basic hard candies, commonly in watermelon, cherry, grape, green apple and blue raspberry.

But wait, there are more flavors! I’ve had lemon, orange, peach, fruit punch, strawberry, mango, pineapple, lime and something called mountain berry. All great.

There are also Jolly Rancher products for people seeking more seasonal treats. There are heart-shaped lollipops for Valentine’s Day, jellybeans for Easter and candy canes for Christmas.

At this point it may seem like the Jolly Rancher people have some kind of dirt on me and that is why I am writing a column, totally unprompted, praising their work. Do they? Am I compromised? Was I living in Canada and was caught trying to break into their plant in Granby, Quebec, and was deported back to America, and am now trying to get back on their good side? That’s for you to decide. I just want to make it clear that I am not being paid by Jolly Rancher. I am not in the pocket of Big Candy, but I do often have big candies in my pockets.

That being said, I would not mind being on the Jolly Rancher payroll. I could easily become a lobbyist on Capitol Hill, killing legislation that aims to limit sugar content in food. I would drop out of school and abandon a career in journalism to lick the boots of the Jolly Rancher people. It would be an honor, and I bet the boots, like everything else about Jolly Rancher, would taste pretty good.

Adam Tumino is a senior sports media relations major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].