The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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June 20, 2012

‘Rogue Riders’ get a taste of the Joplin candy business

JOPLIN, Mo. — After mining the Joplin Museum Complex for the city’s lead and zinc history, “Friendliest City” judges Robert Schatz and Jennifer Jordon licked a tough assignment at the Candy House Chocolate Factory, 510 S. Kentucky Ave.

Joplin is one of six finalist towns in the Rand McNally/USA Today “Best of the Road” contest for friendliest small city in the country. The judges are nicknamed the “Rogue Riders” team.

During their visit to the Candy House, they joked about being probationary employees as they learned to dip strawberries.

“I am literally a kid in a candy store,” Robert said, mugging for the camera Jennifer set up to record one of the team’s “Best of the Road” videos as he stood over a tray of partly finished berries.

He mastered the first dip. On the second, he pulled the fat, red berry from the smooth chocolate and chomped off a big bite.

“You’re fired,” Jennifer teased, pointing at the half-eaten berry.

The judges will visit Cunningham Park and pool this afternoon. Follow them on Facebook or www.bestoftheroad.com.

They’re easy to spot around town. They’re driving a  green Honda CRV with a white “Best of the Road” flag fluttering over the driver’s side and the contest logo on the doors.

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