Christmas candy in the making

Lin Geng, owner of La Confiserie Candylabs, makes handmade hard candy at his shop on Guy St.

Lin Geng, owner of La Confiserie Candylabs, makes handmade hard candy at his shop on Guy St.

Lin Geng, a 30-year-old graduate of Concordia’s John Molson School of Business and a self-described “candy person,” owns Candylabs. (Melinda Dalton/CBC)

It's the holidays, the perfect time to indulge in a few — or many — sweet treats.

The team at La Confiserie Candylabs on Guy Street in Montreal make hard candies by hand.

Lin Geng, a 30-year-old graduate of Concordia's John Molson School of Business and a self-described "candy person," owns the shop.

The idea first came to Geng while he was on a trip to Europe and spotted a candy shop. Inspired, he opened Candylabs in 2014.

How to make a candy cane

4 years ago
Duration 1:14
Candylabs in Montreal showed us how they make hard candy from scratch.

The candies are made by hand using a method that originated in England. Geng flew to Australia to learn that method.

"The Australians … took it to the next level. They kind of improved the techniques," he said.

They make candy pretty much every day — one batch is about eight kilograms, or roughly 4,000 pieces of candy.

The candy is getting into the holiday spirit. (Melinda Dalton/CBC)

Each batch takes between three to four hours to make, and four or five people are involved in making it.

That's because it's a race against the clock. The candy starts off as piping hot liquid sugar, but it can only be shaped when it's just cool enough — if it's too cold, it breaks.

A process called candy stretching adds air bubbles to the candy, which gives them a crunchy texture.

The prices vary based on type and quantity of candy. (Melinda Dalton/CBC)

Candylabs candies come in about 36 different flavours, from the traditional strawberry, watermelon and lemon, to things like champagne, pina colada, mojito and mocha.

They're made of water, glucose, sugar, natural and artificial food coloring and flavouring, and the products are 100 per cent vegan and allergy-free — no peanuts, no nuts, no dairy products or eggs. Prices range from $5 to $15.

They get their ingredients from local shops — the sugar is Redpath sugar, for example.

Their signature is putting images and logos and inside the candy. In honour of the holiday season, some of the candies have candy canes and little Santas inside.

Just a sampling of the tiny images inside the candies. (Melinda Dalton/CBC)

"As long as it's not a Mona Lisa you want in the candy, we can do it," he said.

Companies commission them to make candies with their logos on them.

Their clients come from all over, drawn by the videos posts to social media about the process of making the specialized candy, which have garnered millions of views.

"The best part of working here is that I get to create all kinds of sugar art every day," he said.

A very on-brand message above the cash. (Melinda Dalton/CBC)


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