Did you know? The world’s largest gummy bears are made in Raleigh

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN)  — Candy is something Derek Lawson thinks about every day.

Derek Lawson, creator of the world's largest gummy bear (Ali Warshavsky/CBS North Carolina)
Derek Lawson, creator of the world’s largest gummy bear (Ali Warshavsky/CBS North Carolina)

“I know it’s blasphemy, but I don’t eat candy,” he said.

So how does a man who doesn’t eat candy create a 5-pound, 1-foot tall record-setting gummy bear?

“My brother asked me what am I going to do now and sort of flippantly off the cuff I said, ‘Guess we’ll make giant gummy bear,’” said Lawson.

Lawson said that after a few failed attempts in the candy business, he and his brother struck gold—in creating different gummy molds.

RELATED: More information on The Original World’s Largest Gummy Bears

“When I started this gummy bear thing, the kids flocked to my house because I made gummy hearts and brains – just something ghoulish to give out at Halloween and kids lined up. We had to make [them] part of the product line,” he said.

Fifteen years later, his factory in Raleigh makes 6,000 giant gummy bears a day. The factory also produces 300 different gummy and hard candies. His inspiration comes from anything and everything.

He’s often referred to as a modern day Willie Wonka and can be spotted sporting a similar cane, top hat and coat.

Perhaps Lawson’s biggest inspiration behind his business are childhood memories.

“Every one of us was a kid,” said Lawson. “Some of the greatest things to happen was to visit a candy store.”

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