Affy Tapple sticks with Niles
Longtime candy apple vendor Affy Tapple has been based in Niles since 2000. The company's factory store in Niles offers goods year-round. | IGOR STUDENKOV~For Pioneer Press
Affy Tapple factory store
7425 N. Croname Road
Monday-Friday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Updated: May 13, 2013 2:11AM
If you grew up anywhere near Chicagoland, chances are you tasted them.
Affy Tapple’s chocolate and caramel coated apples have been fundraising staples for more than 50 years. But what many people don’t realize is that, for the past 12 years, those apples have been made in Niles.
Long based in Chicago, Affy Tapple moved to Niles in 2000 in an effort to expand its facilities without losing too many of its workers. Since then, it has continued to help schools, churches and other organizations with fundraising by offering well-recognized products at affordable prices. And while the economic downturn has dented fundraising orders somewhat, it remains an important part of Affy Tapple’s business.
The company traces its roots to the Kastrup family, who pioneered the concept of caramel-dipped apples in 1948. In 1952, the family opened its first store in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood. According to Affy Tapple’s official website, the name came from pure business pragmatism – it would be the first name in the phone book.
In 2000, the company moved to a larger, more modern facility in Niles. According to Kenneth Waity, an Affy Tapple customer service manager, the choice of location came down to what made the most economic sense. The proximity to Chicago was also an important factor.
“They wanted to relocate somewhere the workers could reach, so they could keep the majority of the workforce,” he said.
Affy Tapple has been supplying products for fundraisers since 1960, and the company continues to look for ways to enhance the experience. Its current website offers a number of tools fundraisers can use, including a fundraising tool kit, an online profit calculator and a customer hotline.
In addition to its original caramel coated apples, Affy Tapple offers several types caramel and chocolate-coated apples, some of which are coated with peanuts, chocolate chips and sprinkles.
According to Waity, there is no one product most people seem to prefer – though they do have preferences about the apple inside.
“Granny Smith – that’s the apple that’s most popular,” he said. “But we can’t always guarantee [our products] would have Granny apples inside. It could be Michigan apples, or some other apples, depending on what’s available.”
In some ways, Affy Tapple offerings advertise themselves
“A lot of people grew up with our product,” said Waity. “It’s well-known throughout Chicagoland, so there’s recognition.”
There also offer a good deal. Affy Tapple offers their products in 24-apple cases. Each case costs $20.00, or $0.83 per apple. If a fundraiser orders more than twenty cases, the case price drops to $18.00.
But perhaps the best deals can be found at the Affy Tapple factory store. Located at 7425 N. Croname Road, it offers some individual apples for 25 cents and cases for $5.00 each. But there is a catch – the discounts only apply to products that are a day from expiring. So unless fundraisers need to get more apples in a hurry, the discounts aren’t particularly useful.
Even in this economy, Affy Tapple’s efforts appear to be paying off. The orders have declined, but not a particularly large extent.
“I think orders declined a little,” said Waity. “In this economy, [organizations] don’t have as much money to spend as they used to, so they had to cut back.”