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FEATURED SPEAKER: Doug Simons, President of Enstrom Candies

  • Innovation Pavilion 9200 E. Mineral Ave (map)

Topic: "Making a little toffee for a few of our friends"

Doug Simons was born in London, England, and immigrated to the United States in 1957 where his family settled in the Denver area. In 1973 he came to Grand Junction to attend Mesa College to study music and theatre. It was there he met Jamee Enstrom Simons while playing in the Mesa College concert band. They were married in 1977.

He was employed at Coors Porcelain Company for about three years in Golden, Colorado. In the spring of 1979, Doug and Jamee decided to move back to Grand Junction to join Jamee’s parents in the family business, Enstrom Candies, Inc.

He attended the Retail Confectioners International (RCI)’s Candy School in 1982, making him the first in the company to have official candy making training. Doug spent his formative years in the confectionery industry working in all areas of the business under the watchful tutelage of founder Chet Enstrom and his son, Emil. In 1987 Doug became President of the company, and in 1993 Doug and Jamee purchased the business to become the third-generation owners.

Doug has turned a “Mom and Pop” business into a competitive, high-quality producer of confections. Under his leadership, two manufacturing facilities and corporate offices have been constructed. He has also brought innovation through technological advancements to both the mail-order and manufacturing sides of the business having assisted in the development of cutting-edge machinery to allow for continuous- production of Enstrom’s premiere product, World-Famous Almond Toffee.

Doug is also known for being very involved in the candy industry. Serving as a board member for the Retail Confectioners International (RCI) from 1991-2000, Doug was named President for the 1999-2000 year term. He is currently on the National Confectioners Association (NCA)’s advisory board and also served from 2005-2008. He has also been active in the Western Candy Conference serving on the board and is a past convention chair and is a past President.

He has served on many local boards including; Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce, Grand Junction Lions Club, and the Downtown Development Authority. He served 8 years on the Grand Junction Regional Airport Authority Board, serving twice as chair.

Doug also served on the St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation Board and Co-Chaired the $2 million campaign for the St. Mary’s Advanced Medical Pavilion, and served on the President’s Cabinet for the Century Project to build a new $280 million hospital tower.

His hobbies include golf, boating, and bird hunting, and he is an instrument rated private pilot. As a musician Doug has been active in the local music scene for the last three decades. Doug and Jamee have two sons, Doug Jr. and Jim. Both are now involved in the family business as the fourth generation of candy craftsmen!

Throughout the last 50 years, Enstrom Candies has expanded their product line to include toffee popcorn, truffles and delicious gourmet chocolates. Thanks to Granddad Chet, they are celebrating over fifty years of a treasured family business; over fifty years of watching eyes light up and smiles appear when people taste the world’s finest almond toffee.  Most importantly, they are celebrating more than fifty years of honoring Granddad’s philosophy that “we’re just making a little almond toffee for a few of our friends.”