Class of 2014
Randy Hofberger was born July 11, 1953, in Fremont, WI, to Ralph and Ellen. Two sisters, Joni and Lynn, followed. He attended Hortonville H. S., and pursued a degree in food science at the University of Wisconsin, earning his B.Sc. in 1975.
He joined the industry in 1979 as quality assurance manager at the Ward-Johnston Candy Co. while earning his M.S. in food science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and being inducted into the Alpha Zeta honor society.
Randy signed on with Nestlé USA in 1984 as assistant quality assurance manager and chocolate technology manager for Peter’s Chocolate; he later became a project manager in technical applications for Nestlé. He credits Chris Klaiss, his predecessor at Peter’s, with teaching him Swiss candy skills and the value of respect and professionalism on the job and with customers.
He left the company in September 2008 to launch R&D Candy Consultants, LLC, of which he is the president.
Along the way, Randy says he’s learned invaluable lessons: “Learn from and observe more experienced people before acting on your own and get involved in industry organizations and functions to develop a network.”
He has been a member of the American Association of Candy Technologists since 1980 and was president and first and second vice-president of the Milwaukee chapter and the national association. He also was an instructor for the Triton candy course and has spoken about caramel and tempering.
A longtime member of Retail Confectioners International, the group designated Randy as a Master Confectioner Emeritus in 2003 and honored him with the Henry J. Bornhofft Award in 2009. He has also served as an instructor for the Gus Pulakos Candy School, led Chocolate Boot Camp, coordinated the truffle course and the fondant, creams and fudge course.
When not at work, he and his wife Susan, whom he married in 1976, hike, bicycle, ski cross-country and travel, and he notes the high and low points of his adventures were hiking to Machu Pichu and to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
Being inducted into the Candy Hall of Fame means “my contributions to the industry have been recognized and appreciated,” Randy says. “What I consider everyday activities are being held in high regard.”