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Merrillville, Indiana’s legendary Gummy Bears and gourmet popcorn

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Tom Wilmer
Merrillville, Indiana based Albanese Candy Company retail store (left). Magda and Dwayne Walker at their Chicagoland Popcorn Company retail store (right).

Back in the early 1980s Merrillville, Indiana resident, Scott Albanese was a bricklayer who was seeking a source of additional income in the wintertime.

Scott started tinkering with candy making. He eventually hit a home run with his gummy bears made with real fruit flavors. And as they say—the rest is history.

As his company went viral he eventually decided to retire from active participation in the business and turned operations over to his three daughters.

Today the Albanese Candy Company based in Merrillville employs hundreds of workers who produce legendary gummy bears and an assortment of specialty chocolates 24-hours a day, shipping their products to more than forty countries.

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Mark Harris
Behany Albanese (left) at Albanese Candy Company in Merrillville, Indiana with correspondent Tom Wilmer

Come along and join Scott’s daughter, Bethany Albanese to learn the rest of the story.

Across the street from Albanese Candy Company is the family run Chicagoland Popcorn Company that offers more than 250 distinctive flavors from Bacon and Cheddar to Caramel Sea Salt and Cheddar Cheese. In addition to grab and go sales and online retail, the family business also specializes in corporate gifts and events.

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Chicagoland Popcorn
Magda Walker (left) owner of Chicagoland Popcorn in Merrillville, Indiana visits with correspondent Tom Wilmer

Come along and join Magda Walker for the story of the family run business.

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Foundation at Hearst Castle
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Tom Wilmer produces on-air content for Issues & Ideas airing over KCBX and is producer and host of the six-time Lowell Thomas award-winning NPR podcast Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer. Recorded live on-location across America and around the world, the podcasts feature the arts, culture, music, nature, history, science, wine & spirits, brewpubs, and the culinary arts--everything from baseball to exploring South Pacific atolls to interviewing the real Santa Claus in the Arctic.
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