Located in downtown Portland is Quin – a candy shoppe featuring handmade gumdrops, lollipops, caramels, sours, and marshmallows by the foot. Owner and chief candy maker, Jami Curl never outgrew her passion for sweets which drove her to use high quality locally sourced ingredients to create traditional types of candy without artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. Made in small batches by hand, Quin relies on sugar, fruit purée, gelatin, butter, heavy cream, vanilla beans, natural flavors and extracts, lemon zest, and more to make a delicious modern interpretation of old world favorites:
Gumdrops: The mighty Quin gumdrop is truly unlike any gumdrop you have ever tasted. Made in ten flavors (strawberry, cherry, sour lemon, sour tangerine, cherry vanilla, cherry cola, blackberry and tangerine, strawberry and lemon, smoked cola, and coffee), the Quin gumdrop is huge, busting with flavor, and so much better than any commercially made gumdrop. The strawberry and blackberry/tangerine gumdrops are so delicious that I hid the bags to avoid having to share. For those who put out a gumdrop tree during the holiday season, these are the ultimate gumdrops to use although they look beautiful in a simple glass bowl, too. Sold in sealed airtight bags of 10 big gumdrops ($8) or 20 big gumdrops ($16).
Lollipops: Each handmade (no two lollipops are exactly alike) luscious lollipop is individually wrapped. Undo the little twist tie and be prepared to taste what a real homemade lollipop is: fruity, creamy, tangy, soothing, or spicy. Quin lollipops come in ten flavors: cherry, blackberry, strawberry, tangerine, lemon, caramel, chai tea, coffee, chocolate, and sniffle slayer (spicy ginger lemon) that could make hoarding seem like a socially acceptable behavior. I could not (would not) remove the strawberry lollipop from my mouth after the first taste . Packets contain 10 lollipops ($7.50).
Caramels: The Quin Caramel is creamy, rich and chewy and comes in nine varieties: vanilla bean, sea salt, chocolate, popcorn, turtle (with dark chocolate and pecans), coffee/orange/smoked salt, Lord Bergamont and Smoked Chai (made with black tea from a Portland, Oregon tea maker), and Best of Oregon (made with locally sourced Freddy Guys hazelnuts, honey, and sea salt).
Chews: The Dream Come True is a chewy, creamy, fruity candy and definitely Quin’s piéce de résistance. Truly a magnificent creation, the Quin Dream Come True came to be after Jami Curl had a dream about making a Starburst-like candy with better ingredients. She woke up, jotted down the details, and hit the kitchen the next day to create what only a candy maker could imagine: the ultimate fruit chewy candy. Individually wrapped pieces (20) are sold in a sealed reclosable packet for $10. Expensive but worth every single penny and more.
The Twizzlie Roll is a rich chocolate chew with a hint of sea salt that has been referred to more than once as the “adult Tootsie Roll.” Quin also makes the Swirly Twizzlie Roll using the original Twizzlie Roll swirled with white chocolate for what can be described as the best of both chocolate worlds. Sold in packets of 10 individually wrapped rolls ($6) or 20 individually wrapped rolls ($12).
Sours: Quin Sour Supremes are old-fashioned hard disc candies in three flavors (tangerine, cherry, and lemon) coated with lip puckering sweetness. Sold in packets of approximately 30 discs, the Sour Supremes are $6.
Marshmallows: Most marshmallows are sold in bags filled with small or large squares but Quin Marshmallow is sold by the foot in four unique flavors: vanilla bean, chocolate, Water Avenue Coffee (made with homemade espresso extract), and Oregon Strawberry (made from Oregon grown strawberries). Each foot is sold in a box that sells for $4.
Quin also sells an assortment of premium chocolate bars from chocolatiers who have a beans to bar operation.
Quin is located at 1025 SW Stark Street in the Pearl District of downtown Portland. Nestled in Union Way, a block-long pedestrian alley reminiscent of London’s pedestrian-only shopping streets, the 180-square foot shop is flanked with candy on the entire back wall. There are floor-to-ceiling glass windows and a neon yellow sign to showcase Portland’s premier candy store that opened in July, 2013. Situated between Powell’s City of Books (the world’s largest bookstore) on Burnside Street and the Ace Hotel on SW Stark Street, Quin candy can be purchased in-person or on-line at the company’s website: www.quincandy.com.