We’ve had a great time this week chatting with Neil Edley, maker of premium chocolates, Sugar Plum Chocolates in Pennsylvania. How could you not have fun hearing what a candy maker has to say about his business?

Wow! Nuts, popcorn, & chocolates – oh my! You’ve created some fun snacks. Tell us why and how Sugar Plum got started.

Sugar Plum got its start back in 1995. My mother and I have always shared a special bond over creating premium chocolate treats, and one day we decided to just go for it and share our passion for creating stuff that always brought a smile to our faces with the whole world. Over the course of the past 20 years, our commitment to making some of the best sweet and savory snacks the world has ever had the pleasure of treating their taste buds to has taken us to some wild and wholly unexpected places – including the Academy Awards, the Rachael Ray show, the Food Network, E!, and Food52!

Dragon Inside Sriracha Chocolate bars! I have never seen such a unique “on fire” flavor. How hot are they and what type of a person would just love to have one?

Yes! Isn’t it amazing how unique a flavor you get when you bite into one of these bars?

Really these bars are just about as spicy as the sauce is straight out of the bottle. I think that the real ticket to the special flavor and heat that you get with these bars is that we use real authentic Huy Fong Sriracha sauce, which really comes to life the longer you let the flavor develop across your palate. Unlike a lot of other chocolate products that you can rush through and not miss much if you indulge in another piece too soon, these Sriracha bars really are best to be enjoyed slowly and one little bite at a time so you have plenty of time for the dragon inside to come and get you!

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Please explain what Ch’up Cakes are and why they are so fun.

Ch’up cakes are the result of what happens when you lock a mad scientist like me in a room with a whole bunch of chocolates and goodies and some cupcakes and let me go to work! Basically ch’up cakes are cupcakes that have had every last bit of the cake replaced with pure gourmet chocolate, and then topped it off with marshmallows, trail mix, or cookie pieces. People tell us all the time that our ch’up cakes are so much fun to eat because you are constantly having a different experience every single time that you break off another bite!

I’ve got someone with an adventurous palate to shop for the holidays who loves to snack. Which snacks should I send them and what is their shelf life?

Great question! As someone that has a pretty adventurous palate myself, I think I’d start off with our Purely assortment, which comes with three vegan dark chocolate bars that have banana, peach, and pomegranate blended into the mix to create a ridiculous experience you have to taste to believe.
After that, I’d recommend our 1-pound tin of Liquor Nuts, which include Irish Stout cashews flavored with real Guinness, Jamaican Lager-flavored peanuts, and Tennessee Whiskey-flavored almonds.

Exactly how nuts can we get? Tell us why your nuts are unique snacking experiences.

You can lose your marbles with our nuts! Our nuts are such unique snacking experiences because we’ve gone overboard trying to make sure that we replicate the same exact experience you get from consuming the real thing as you do eating our entire range of nuts. There is nowhere else you can turn to get the same experience as you get when you dig into a bag of our Sriracha peanuts because we use the real Huy Fong sriracha sauce each and every time we hand-make a batch of them, the same way we use real Guinness when we make our Epicurean Coffee Stout cashews.

I think that something else that really separates us from the rest of the crowd is the versatility of our nuts; we’ve actually designed our nuts to not just be used as an awesome snack, but also as an ingredient that you can use to take breakfast, lunch, or dinner to Captain Kirk territories, where no one else has ever explored!

Every week we are posting new recipes to our blog that show new and interesting ways to rejuvenate old dishes or create brand new dishes with our nuts- anything from using our Epicurean cherry almonds in a cake, our pumpkin spice almonds in pancakes or French toast, or our Sriracha peanuts as a new way to bread your chicken breast, which is really awesome.

Which snacks do you send out to your loved ones for the holidays? Which snacks do you eat while shopping to send snacks to loved ones (ie. which are your personal favorites?)

All of us at Sugar Plum really love to send our trays to our loved ones for the holidays. We have a new one for 2015 we are undeniably in love with that includes sandwich cookies, marshmallows, potato chips, pretzels and popcorn all dipped or drizzled in our gourmet chocolate and made by hand, all held in an absolutely adorable gingerbread man container.

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Admittedly, it is pretty easy to get into the holiday spirit of shipping our trays to friends and family when we are able to just dig into them ourselves!

Feel free to connect with Neil Edley and his premium chocolates on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.