Betty_Jane_CandiesHollywood’s biggest stars will gather for the Academy Awards on March 2 and while the winners will take home the coveted Oscar statue, losers will enjoy something from Iowa. The take home gift bags for the nominees include vacations, expensive footwear, spa packages, and, this year, Betty Jane Homemade Candies. That candy is made in Dubuque.

Store owner Drew Siegert has packed a few dozen samples of the store’s most popular treats. “It’s funny to think about Tom Hanks or Leonardo DeCaprio, picturing them in their hotel room, crying about not winning the Oscar and munching on some chocolate to console themselves,” Siegert says.

The goods from Betty Jane Homemade Candies will go to the nominees in some of the big categories: best actor, best actress, and best director. Siegert says he expects those celebrities will share their sweet gift. Or maybe not. “Nobody shares our stuff when they buy it. When Grandma takes it home, it gets hidden in the cupboard or the secret drawer that nobody knows about,” Siegert says.

Betty Jane Homemade Candies has developed a big and loyal customer base around Dubuque. “They kind of just keep coming and we appreciate them all,” Siegert said. The partnership with the Academy Awards is just the latest accolade for the Dubuque business. Last fall, Siegert and his staff filled 800 “goody bags” for the Upper Midwest Emmy Awards and in December, People Magazine selected Betty Jane Homemade Candies’ signature treat — the Gremlin —  as Iowa’s “best edible Christmas gift.”

(Reporting by Katie Wiedemann, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids)