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Can You Imagine That?from LA Times
Sweet InspirationBy Duane Noriyuki Times Staff Writer
The creative mind whirls beyond boundaries of what is, seeking undefined
regions where possibilities abound. from world in darkness, visible only in
flashes of lightning, new ideas emerge.
For the Klein family of Glendora, lightning usually strikes in the bathroom,
which they refer to as the "think tank."
One day about four years ago, Roxanne Klein, was, well, just sitting there when
lightning struck, and she saw it: edible sand art.
She was well-versed in what to do next. She rushed to the kitchen, tugging up her
pants, and grabbed a paper plate.
One should never entrust a scrap of paper with a brilliant idea, says her
father, David Klein, 50, inventor of Jelly Belly candies. Scraps are too
easily lost or left in pockets, emerging from washing machines as faded wads.
Paper plates are harder to lose, harder to stuff in pockets. "plus," he
notes, "you can fling em."
In her vision, Roxy, then a senior at Glendora High School, saw brightly
colored candy in the form of sand, something artistic and tangy. Six months
later production began on Sandy Candy. The Kleins tested flavors with a panel
of experts, neighborhood kids who frequent their manufacturing plant in Covina.
"If they approved of a flavor, we went with it," says Roxy's mother, Rebecca
Klein, 46. "If they said, "Puh-Too-wee," we scrapped it."
Sandy Candy was further tested at street fairs, and children seemed to love it.
The Kleins, under the name Can You Imagine That! Inc., have made Sandy
Candy available on the Internet and through distributors.
"We wanted to make it more of a specialty item and also something groups could
use for fund-raising," Roxy says.
The Kleins are constantly testing new products. Not all of them pan out. Still,
says David, "there is no such thing as a bad idea."
"A bad idea leads to a good idea," he explains. "It stays in your mind for
years and maybe you'll use a part of that idea for some other idea." "or
maybe 1% of the idea," says Roxy. "or maybe half a percent," Says David. Or
maybe the bad idea has a good name for another project." "Or a good color or a
good flavor." "Something good comes out of everything."
from Teen Magazine
Cool CareerWhile you might look at sand and see some dingy piles of dirt, 21-year-old
Roxanne Klein imagines a tart and tangy treat. "I like sand art. And one day
I just looked at it and I said that looks like candy, Why can't it be?"
Eureka! Sandy Candy was born. Roxanne's sugary-sweet idea: To produce powder
in different yummy colors and flavors like peach-mango, lemonade and fruit
punch that you'd pour into clear plastic straws to create super pretty
patterns. After admiring the masterpieces you'd scarf it down for a serious
"I told my dad and he thought it was a great idea," Roxanne says. And as the
creator of the world famous Jelly' Belly's, her father should know what he's
talking about. "I've always been around candy," the Glendora California native
explains. "I think candy, my dad thinks candy. It's the weirdest thing."
In Roxanne's candy-making clan, whenever someone has an idea for a new product,
he or she writes it down on a paper plate and then the family evaluates it. But
Roxanne wasn't sure about Sandy Candy at first, so she shoved her plate in a
drawer for six week before showing it to her parents. Not long after she
proposed the plan, they started churning out the sweet stuff.
"We tested it out with people and saw an overwhelming response!" Roxanne
beams. Since then, she's been selling it at street fairs, schools, and
birthday parties. "She'll start hocking Sandy Candy full-time after she
graduates from the University of La Verne in California with a bachelor's
degree in business this spring.
"My dream is to have Sandy Candy Land-sort of like Disneyland, based on the
candy. Or I'd like to have a Sandy Candy museum right next to the M&M museum
and the Coke museum in Las Vegas. But short term, I just want to have it at as
many birthday parties as possible.
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