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PUBLISHED: 1:39 PM on Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Candy makers stir up Palin, McCain Pops
WASILLA - Candy shop owner Dionne Chester is admittedly sweet on Sarah Palin, and she has the suckers to prove it.

Chester, an avid Palin supporter, said she thinks Alaska's governor, the former mayor of Wasilla, is just the ticket for vice president of the United States, and she's showing her support by selling Palin Pops.

In about a week Chester has sold more than four dozen of the individually crafted lollipops, and more are in production at McGill's Candy and Nuts in the Carrs mall in downtown Wasilla.

Chester, an accountant, purchased the business from the Anchorage owner earlier this year and relocated it to the Valley.

When Republican presidential hopeful John McCain chose Palin for his running mate, Chester wanted to show her support. She said she sees Palin as a candidate who will advocate for small-business owners.

Chester normally spends much of her time crafting designer truffles and other dipped chocolates. The shop also offers dozens of other sweets, from jellybeans to old-fashioned candy bars.

Now a sign in front of her shop advertises Palin Pops, and Chester has ordered a sign for the front window of the shop saying "We're sweet on Sarah."


Margaret Bauman photo
  Dionne Chester (left), owner of McGill's Candy and Nuts in Wasilla, with family friend Christa Anne Gabbard shows off some of her designer political lollipops. Chester came up with the idea as a way to support the hometown candidate.
Initially the pops were neopolitan flavors, but Chester said Sept. 9 that she has switched to all chocolate, red, white and blue lollipops. The large pops weigh just under a quarter of a pound. The small pops weigh about an eighth of a pound, she said.

So far production is about 20 Palin Pops a day, but Chester said she will take orders for more.

Not the Palin Pop type? If someone wants Barack Obama pops, she will produce some of them as a special order.

The messages on the Palin Pops include "Palin Power," "SP for VP" and "Palin-McCain."

"My favorite just says iPalin' on it, with a red, white and blue stripe, with iPalin' in the white section. Real simple and real patriotic," Chester said.

For the younger set, like her own children, who attend the same middle school as one of the governor's daughters, Chester created "Palin Rocks" pops.

Most people are buying two or three apiece, and about half say they plan to save them rather than eat them, Chester said. One customer suggested she number them and make them a limited edition, which she has done, but just how limited that edition will be is an unknown.

So far, Chester said, she plans to keep on producing the lollipops until November.

Margaret Bauman can be reached at margie.bauman@alaskajournal.com


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