Class of 2019
Pat Collins is the definition of a candy industry frontierswoman.
Born on June 16, 1947, in Brooklyn, New York, she is one of six children. She learned the benefits of a strong work ethic early on in life from both her parents. Her father, a World War II veteran, was a truck driver, volunteer fireman, and built two extra bedrooms on the family house to care for his growing family.
Her mother, widowed at age 39, would leave her three young sons in the care of her three teenage daughters, including Pat, while she went to work.
Pat’s career in the candy business began by accident in 1975 when she joined A&S Department Stores as a Sales Associate in the bulk candy department.
The most memorable moment in Pat’s career came in 1991 when Candy Hall of Fame members Herm Rowland and Bill Kelley hired her as a Sales Manager for Jelly Belly Candy Co. Always the trendsetter, she was the first female to join the sales and marketing team in a leadership position.
Some of Pat’s greatest successes while at Jelly Belly include initiating new distribution in the East, bringing candy into previously untapped non-traditional sales channels, managing a network of specialty brokers and continuously increasing sales.
Along with all of her personal career accomplishments, Pat has served as a role model for many female executives within the industry, including Dylan Lauren, of Dylan’s Candy Bar.
Dylan credits Pat for showing her the ins and outs of the candy industry. Pat took Dylan under her wing at the Sweets & Snacks Expo, introducing her to the Jelly Belly family and other companies within the industry.
“She understood my vision for Dylan’s Candy Bar even before it was built,” says Lauren.
Pat is the mom of three sons, Christopher, Brien and Kevin, and has seven grandchildren.
Pat and her longtime partner, Richard Butler, who she met at the Philadelphia Candy Show, love to attend their grandchildren’s school and sporting events.
When she’s not spending time with her family, you can find Pat studying current design trends or shopping the European markets.
Pat says she is privileged and honored to be inducted into the Candy Hall of Fame, adding: “I am blessed and proud that I’ve been employed in the candy industry for almost 45 years and I appreciate this distinguished affirmation. I know it would have made my mom proud of my accomplishments. She believed in ‘girl power’ before the term was even coined.”