The History Of The Kemble Family
The story of The Squirrel's Nest and its candy has traveled worldwide since 1980. Customers have chosen our product to represent their hometown of Middletown or their home state of Delaware when traveling abroad. What an honor this has been!
With our chocolate confections people always want the story to share. The story of a blue eyed, blond haired little boy named Jason and our candy come hand in hand. When Jason was 2 1/2 we learned he was sensitive to artificial colors and flavors. It affected the way he felt about himself and the way he treated others.
To provide Jason with candy, I learned the art of candy making from Mammy, my Pennsylvania Dutch mother in law. I soon learned from sharing these sweets with others that people preferred the taste of real butter and pure vanilla. In 1980 this candy was made available through The Squirrel's Nest.
That year for Christmas we received a book by Dr. Benjamin Feingold. Dr. Feingold’s research shows that many people have sensitivities to artificial flavors, fragrances, colors, and some preservatives. It helped to know my son was not unique with this situation. Parent’s whose children have been diagnosed with ADHD, ADD, autism, learning disabilities, and allergies were looking for a natural alternative to medication. The Feingold® program seems to be the answer.
Jason's little brother Adam was diagnosed with dyslexia during his first year at school. The neurologist suggested taking the artificial foods from his daily diet. This would not take away the learning disability but might make it easier for him to better cope with the situation.
We often joke that things come in three’s. The third: it was soon discovered that through a chemical over-exposure at work my husband, Jim, contracted multiple neurotoxicologic sequelae secondary to a pesticide exposure resulting in multiple chemical sensitivity. Due to the past experiences with my sons and the information gained from Feingold, it did not take me long to put things together and realize what Jim should avoid as well.
In 1990, I decided to offer my products by mail to Feingold members. The same month, Jason was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma a rare form of cancer. Jason felt very strongly about Feingold and the importance of a natural diet. He didn’t want his illness to change my decision.
Jason died one month before his 16th birthday in 1991. By helping thousands of children, I realized that it was helping me to fill some of the huge void left in my life by his passing. When we go through something as devastating as the loss of a child we can’t possibly imagine that anything good could ever result from it. But as time heals God puts opportunities in front of us that give us the chance to help others by using the knowledge we have gained or just the compassion to understand.
Like any other experience in life, most people wouldn’t or couldn’t understand unless they have been there.
For me, the motivation to keep going continues, knowing that families like yours are counting on me. I continue to search for and provide new products to offer you in addition to my chocolates.
What started out as a special need for Jason now fills the needs of families all across the United States. Candies with real butter and pure vanilla fill Easter baskets and Christmas stockings miles away from our quaint little shop in Middletown.