Robin Kennedy makes chocolate treats at Robin’s Confections on Alfred Street in Biddeford. LIZ GOTTHELF/Journal Tribune

BIDDEFORD – From what started at a small production space at home, Robin’s Confections has a new space at 586 Alfred St. in Biddeford where handmade candies and treats are both created and sold.

Husband and wife owners, Bob and Kate Gartland ,along with their daughter and  head confectioner, Robin Kennedy, are the working team behind the business. Before Robin’s Confections moved into its current space, Robin was creating goodies in the family’s basement turned production area.

Bob and Kate Gartland own Gartland Distributors, a company that distributes snack foods. Bob wanted to offer Maine-made options for his distribution company. That’s when Robin started production in the family home. She was making treats and packaging them to be delivered but there wasn’t enough room to produce the variety of products the family wanted to offer.

They knew it was time to give the production area the space it needed, so from the basement kitchen, they moved their production space over to the Alfred Street location.  The family began remodeling on March 1 and opened on Aug. 18.

A glimpse at the front counter and production area at Robin’s Confections. ANGELA PAOLUCCI/Journal Tribune.

They wanted an open floor plan so that people came in to buy something they could also see the fresh candy being made, Robin said.. It was important to let customers see the production process because it “instills a little bit more trust” that they are producing quality products, she said.

Since Robin’s Confections has more space, they are able to produce a larger variety of products and experiment with new ideas. The goal is to create a place where customers purchase “different things at affordable prices” Robin said.

They want “people to come and feel comfortable and have options,” she said. For instance, they produce gluten-free and sugar-free products. In addition to the hand-dipped chocolate treats. fudge and other candy produced at the store, there is also jams, syrup and kettle corn, which are not made in-house but are provided by local vendors.

A view of the hand-made fudge varieties at Robin’s Confections. ANGELA PAOLUCCI/Journal Tribune.

The “backbone” to Robin’s Confections is none other than the iconic Maine specialty, the Needham, made with freshly hand-mashed potatoes. They also offer a variety of Needham flavors as well as chocolate-covered Oreos. And Robin and Bob both agree that the hand-dipped, chocolate-covered peanut butter pretzels are  a must to try.  

In the future, Robin said that they all “liked the idea of a small sister location in the Old Port.” However, now the main focus is to grow their debut location.

“We care about what we do,” Kennedy said, adding that the family has put in time and effort to open a company that caters to its customer.

Robin’s Confections is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.

For more information, call 494-8533 or visit Robin’s Confections’ website at:https://robinsconfections.com/.

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