Red Hots are Schimpff's signature piece and have
been made here since opening day in 1891. Gus
Schimpff Sr. included the directions for making
his Red Hots in his hand-written recipe book from
the 1880s. Traditionally a common hard candy,
hand made in households throughout Kentuckiana
and further south, red hots have become particularly
popular at Schimpff's Confectionery.
the late 1950s Brother Billy Branham, founder of
Jeffersonville's Branham Tabernacle, visited candy
maker, Sonny Schimpff, when Sonny was very ill in
the hospital. He assured Sonny that he would again
sell him Red Hots across the counter. Sonny made
a complete recovery and indeed sold many more batches
of his famous Red Hots. Presently members of the
Tabernacle come from all corners of the globe to
buy Schimpff's Red Hots and commemorate the promise
that Billy Branham made.
Helena Modjeska was a Polish actress who, in the
late 1800s, became very famous in the United States.
Known especially for her romantic Shakespearean
roles, she appeared often with John Barrymore.
Unlike other popular foreign actresses, she learned
to speak English well enough to perform on stage
making a premier performance in Ibsens "Dollhouse"
at Louisvilles old Macauley Theater in 1883,
she was asked by the owner of Busaths Candies
if he could name a special confection after her.
She agreed and, for that reason, caramel-covered
marshmallows along this section of the Ohio River
are called Modjeskas. For years Busaths
was the only candy company that used the term,
but, upon their closing, other manufacturers felt
free to label their product Modjeskas. Schimpffs
is one of them.
Modjeskas son became an important civil
engineer who built bridges throughout the United
States. You will find his name, spelled slightly
differently from his mothers, listed as
the chief engineer on the commemorative plaque
on the southeast side of Louisvilles Second
Confectionery has supplied generations of Kentuckiana
residents with colorful hard candy fish that represent
the area's colorful river heritage. They were
first made in Madison, Indiana, an old Ohio River
town, toward the end of the 1800s. Often thought
of as a Christmas candy, the fish design recognized
as an early Christian symbol, fish candy also
reminded people of the many fish found in the
Ohio River. The candy soon became a holiday mainstay
for Indiana communities between Madison and Jeffersonville.
candy was originally manufactured in at least a
dozen flavors on turn-of-the-century drop roll
machines that used hand-made brass rollers. Schimpff's
Confectionery continues to produce hard candy
fish in the traditional way offering the craftsmanship
and quality of days gone by.
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