Fluvanna Faces, Sue Charney, owner, Red Rocker Candy

By Harvey J. Sorum

Sue, tell us about yourself prior to opening Red Rocker Candy and how you started this unique candy business.

I was newly married and had been laid off from my job.  I thought “why not make candy?” and that is a true statement.  I sold candy to friends and worked temporary jobs as a means of support.  We moved to Virginia in 2002 with the intention of starting a candy business.  I had zero business experience, just a strong desire.

How has your business grown since April 1, 2002?

I started Red Rocker Candy in my basement at Lake Monticello.  I worked down there for six years and then moved to a bigger facility because I ran out of space.  I stayed in that building for seven years until moving to my current location because I ran out of space again. I plan on staying here for a while.

As a manufacturer, how do you market Red Rocker candy?

We are primarily a wholesale business and I market to wholesale customers by attending various trade shows around the U.S.  While we sell all over the U.S., our core business is from the Mid-Atlantic to the Southern States and especially Texas.   

Is Red Rocker candy available in more than one flavor?

We sell six flavors of our famous pretzel mixes.  Our original mix is Rocking Chair Mix, then we have Peanut Crunch, Espresso Jolt, Lemon Burst, Naked Turtle and Caramel Brownie.  In winter we switch out the Lemon Burst with Peppermint Blast. 

With your rapid growth, what’s in the future for Red Rocker Candy?

We are currently working on a new salty snack mix line.  It should be ready in about a month for sale.  We are also working on three additional flavors of the pretzel mixes that should be ready right around the holidays.

How can customers buy your candy?

Our mixes are sold at local stores such as Jefferson Pharmacy, Cuppa Joe, Fork Union Pharmacy, Spring Creek Pro Shop and several others.  We have a feature on our website wherein one can input their zip code and find stores near them.  If there is no store nearby, we do sell online to the public with an option to pick up at our factory location.  

Would Red Rocker Candy make a good Valentine’s or birthday or thank you gift?

Red Rocker Candy is the perfect gift for any of those occasions.  What makes our mixes so great is that anyone can eat them from very young to the more mature customer.  Everyone loves them! 

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