Inside Stories

InsideDracut: Tully’s Treats a Sweet Success

Patti Paddies – freeze-dried Peppermint Patties (photo courtesy Tully’s Sweet Treats)

Have you ever wondered how Skittles would taste if they were crunchy rather than chewy? Or instead of smooth and creamy, a bite of a York Peppermint Patty was crisp and crunchy?

Wonder no more. You can find out for yourself. Just check out Tully’s Sweet Treats online at

Anna Tully, a resident of Bryan Avenue in Dracut, earlier this year started freeze-drying popular candies and selling them (under different names, of course) online and at local markets.

While the candies taste mostly the same, the flavors pop more, they’re crunchy, and they almost melt in your mouth after the freeze-drying process.

“It’s pretty cool. It changes the product’s texture. Instead of being chewy, it’s crunchy,” Anna said of her candies.

A platter loaded with various Tully’s Sweet Treats (photo courtesy Tully’s Sweet Treats)

Anna puts the candies into a freeze-dryer, which removes the moisture from them. Some candies take as little as four hours, others up to 12 hours.

To rename her treats, Anna often use names of family members. Thus, she has turned Skittles into “Tuttles,” Gummy Bears into “Tully Bears,” Peppermint Patties into “Patti Paddies” (after her mother) and Airheads into “Airy Annas,” a name her husband, Kevin, came up with “because I’m kind of an airhead sometimes,” Anna said.

She likes to experiment with different candies, and if she hits on one that works, she’ll come up with a name for it and sell it. For Easter, she’ll be freeze-drying different flavors of Jell-O to give her treats a “spring feeling.”

Kevin and their son, Kevin Jr., 14, are her official taste-testers.

Anna started her new undertaking after being laid off from her job of 23 years as a district manager.

“I always wanted to own my own business,” she said. “So I invested in a freeze-drying machine and practiced for months. I saw what worked and what didn’t work. And if it didn’t work, how could I make it work?”

Anna signs up for any marketplace she can find. Tully’s Sweet Treats will be at Kennedy School Spring Fair in Billerica on April 7; Daley School Spring Market in Lowell on April 27; Moms, Dads & Grads Craft & Vendor Fair in Chelmsford on April 28; Mother’s Day Shopping Event in Chelmsford on May 4; and she’s hoping for spots at Lowell Folk Festival in July, and Dracut Old Home Day in September.

Anna Tully displays her Tully’s Sweet Treats at a recent market (photo courtesy Tully’s Sweet Treats)

She’s also hoping other merchants – sandwich shops and convenience stores, for instance — will give her products a chance on their shelves. So far, Family Pizza in Dracut has taken her up on it.

Anna’s ultimate goal is to open a storefront in Dracut to make and sell her products. In the meantime, she produces her “sweet treats” out of the basement of Christ Church United, which serves as a shared kitchen for folks to cook food they plan to sell but don’t have a storefront.

For more information on what products are available and how to order, visit


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *