Candy, Food Artisans, ZCoBbers

In the spotlight: Salina Loughlin of Zingerman’s Candy Manufactory


In the midst of celebrating the 10th anniversary of Zingerman’s Candy Manufactory, we wanted to shine a spotlight on Salina Loughlin, one of the Candy Cooks, who has been with the company for just a smidge over 4 years. 

Salina and the aftermath of making peanut butter nougat

Salina and the aftermath of making peanut butter nougat

Salina can often be seen through the Candy Store’s production window stretching peanut brittle and making other handcrafted treats. I wanted to get to know her better, and here’s what I learned:

  1. What is your favorite Zingerman’s-made candy to eat?
    The Peanut Butter Crush candy bar!

    To make?
    Marshmallows! They are messy and fun to do.

  2. What as your favorite candy growing up?
    Suckers, especially Tootsie pops and Chupa Chups, but all were welcome.

  3. Thinking back to Halloween as a kid, was there a candy that you didn’t like? You know, the one from your trick or treat haul that you were always willing to give away…
    Swedish Fish. I still don’t like them.

  4. Being a candy maker means long hours on your feet. When you need a jolt of energy, what gets you going?
    I have an undying love for Dance Dance Revolution soundtracks.

  5. Let’s go to the way-back machine. What was the first candy you ever made?
    The Incredible Edibles Creepy Candy Maker. 

  6. Is there someone in the industry – current or formerly – that you admire?
    Dominique Ansel, a French-born, James Beard Award-winning Pastry Chef, and creator of the beloved Cronut®. I really admire the high level of creativity from his various kitchens and how he turns it into pieces of edible art. The pastries and other goodies are well executed and just fun to look at!

  7. When it comes to packaging, is there something out there that has really excited you?
    I’m a fan of more sustainable eco-packaging, especially the packages that can be planted.

  8. Is there a candy collaboration with Zingerman’s you’d love to see happen?  
    I would love to learn how to make Japanese wagashi!

Salina grinding peanuts

“When people find out I make candy for a living I always get a response of, ‘Oh, I would gain soooo much weight!’ Here’s one of the reasons why you don’t. Hand grinding 13+ pounds of cashews, I’m either laughing or about ready to cry because my arms are burning.”


You can meet Salina yourself and see candy-making in action at Zingerman’s Candy Store (3723 Plaza Drive, Ann Arbor 48108)!