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Candyman returns: Jelly bean innovator back in business via crowdfunding

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Cult personality David Klein speaks to ConfectioneryNews about his new jelly bean business that is seeking online funding through a Kickstarter campaign.

David Klein created a new variety of jelly bean in 1976 that went on to become Jelly Belly. He sold the invention in 1980 to his contract manufacturer and agreed not to compete in the space for 20 years.

He has now returned with the Original Coffee House Beans. His Chicago-based company Candyman Kitchens was established two months ago and is currently running a crowdfunding project on Kickstarter to expand operations.

The power of Kickstarter

The campaign has reached its initial goal of $10,000 with 188 backers but seven days remain and Klein has set a new target of $18,000.

“I never realized the power Kickstarter has because the day the campaign started we started receiving messages from companies saying they want our product,” he said.

Klein says the funds will help his company raise capital for production costs to bring the product to store shelves.

The brand is currently sold online, but Klein anticipates it will move into the mass market and says he already has interest overseas.

“The major business that we will have will be with the huge chains around the country [US]. We want to get them in the mainstream, in quality places,” he said.

Klein credits his comeback to business partners Stephanie and Jeff Thirtyacre, who inspired him to return to the confectionery industry.

Follow the link to the Candyman's Kickstarter page.

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