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Plano candy maker offering treats to those who help others

The Bolen family -- dad Ernie mom Pam children Josh Ginny -- are spreading sweetness through Plano community with their

The Bolen family -- dad Ernie, mom Pam, and children Josh and Ginny -- are spreading sweetness through the Plano community with their candy shop, Mamie's Toffee and Treats.

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Updated: February 15, 2013 6:08AM

PLANO — Ernie Bolen is sweet on people who make an effort to help others.

The Plano-based candy man is giving away more baskets of his toffee and treats to deserving people for his company’s second Random Acts of Candy.

The first Random Act was last Labor Day, when Bolen gave baskets of Mamie’s Toffee and Treats to people nominated by others on his company’s Facebook page. Those recipients included a Bolingbrook police officer, a man who works with victims of sexual trafficking and gangs, a caregiver for Alzheimer’s patients and a preschool teacher.

Bolen began the candy company out of his Plano home when he found himself a victim of the downturn in the economy. A former print salesman, he now finds his days busy selling a sweeter product.

And the nominations have begun to come in.

One person posted her story of a potential nominee:

“My brother/sister-in-law Chris and Liz Marlow. They helped take care of my kids the 2 months I was in the hospital including taking my daughter on summer vacation with them and making sure she got to church camp. They basically ensured she was able to be a 10 year old and not to worry about me.”

On the company’s website, followers are invited to nominate anyone they feel is deserving of a Random Act of Candy. “Do they give back to the community? Do they work hard, expecting nothing in return?” the website says.

Those are the type of people Bolen is looking forward to meeting on Jan. 21 — Martin Luther King Jr. Day — as he delivers his baskets to those found deserving of the treats.

To nominate someone to receive a Random Act of Candy, log on to the company’s Facebook page at

Just a few years ago, Bolen said, his family lost their home to foreclosure. It was that dire circumstance that led to him getting his candy company off the ground, using the recipe for the Bolen family’s extra special toffee.

For most of the last year, he has used a kitchen of a friend in Sandwich.

“I am looking at property now, maybe an industrial park, for a kitchen that I can use 24 hours a day,” he said.

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