Though losing gubernatorial candidates must formally apologize to their constituents through the gift of interpretive dance, gift baskets filled with expert confections work well on any occasion. Harness the universally enticing power of properly packaged chocolate with today’s Groupon: for $29, you get a chocolate-and-fudge basket at Kilwin’s in Newport (a $60 value).
Catering to sweet-toothed patrons, Kilwin’s chocolatiers craft everything from freshly made fudge to saltwater taffy in front of an open-mouthed audience of intergenerational dessert fans. Each cellophane-ensconced basket includes two chocolate-peanut-butter cups, a five-ounce bag of peanut brittle, and a 12-ounce bag of saltwater taffy. Guided by gustatory prowess, chocolate connoisseurs can customize their basket with one pound of fudge in their choice of flavor. Baskets also brim with an array of chocolate-garbed goodies, including Oreos, pretzels, and Rice Krispies. Peanut corn and caramel popcorn round out the mix, testing molar fortitude and the ability to whistle The Andy Griffith Show theme song without sheet music.
As a nationally recognized purveyor of chocolate goods, Kilwin’s sprinkles its dainties across many states, showcasing its rich array of sweat treats behind sparkling glass cases and old-fashioned, friendly service. Kilwin’s dedicated staff partners with the Easter Bunny to deliver seasonal sweets and one-up the gift giving of Santa Claus and his reindeer softball team.
The candy kitchen's massive copper kettle predating World War II is certainly an eye catcher, but the nostalgic sights and smells of candy filling rows of white shelves is what overwhelms most people when they step inside Kilwin’s. For more than two generations, the original recipes of founders Don and Katy Kilwin have been used to handcraft more than 75 confections such as chocolates, caramels, and specialty fudge. Aside from some newer equipment, head candy cook Bill Hoffman and his team still abide by Don’s candy-making methods and use original equipment when possible. Inside the old-fashioned candy shop, a burnished copper-kettle-fire mixer fashions each piece of peanut brittle, a cold room solidifies almond-toffee crunch, and a manatee that swallowed a freezer still makes every sea-foam candy. In addition to candy, Kilwin’s has created more than 32 flavors of original-recipe ice cream since 1985 with farm-fresh rBHT-free milk and cream from Michigan farms.