|Candy Kitchen, New Mexico|
|Elevation||7,388 ft (2,252 m)|
|Time zone||Mountain (MST)|
Candy Kitchen is an unincorporated community in Cibola County, New Mexico, United States, in the northwestern part of the state. It is located at (34.9142058, -108.4859053), at an altitude of 7,388 feet (2,252 m).
The name Candy Kitchen originated with a rancher who made moonshine liquor during the prohibition era in the United States. As a front for purchasing large amounts of sugar to produce his liquor, he manufactured pinon nut candy. People would come to his ranch to purchase candy over the counter and illegal liquor under the counter.
The isolated and rustic nature of the area has attracted a colorful array of individualists. A number of artists currently make their homes in the area. The area is home to a very diverse and intimate community that includes ranchers, sustainable homes (strawbale and earthbag structures etc.), artists, and other interesting folk. It is roughly 60 miles from the nearest grocery store. Candy Kitchen prides itself on sustainable ways of living. The diversity of Candy Kitchen attracts people who are not worried about sex, religion, origin, sexuality (about 35% LGBTQ), and any other modern day concerns (with regard to culture). Candy Kitchen focuses on the ability of a person to "add" to the community, which can be hard-work.'
Rumored history includes a hiding place for Butch Cassidy, Geronimo, Prohibition distilleries.
In modern days, Candy Kitchen is home to many homesteader families, regular folks, hippies, Radical Faeries, Ramah Navajos, Zuni Puebloans, nihilistic survivalists, reclusivists, people who like their privacy, people who enjoy living simply, and many other "outcasts" who live on the fringes of society. Community is important, and seems to be the center of local culture.
Candy Kitchen is mostly off-grid, with no sewer and very few homesteads who have electric lines. Its citizens tend to pride themselves on the ability to survive without having to shop at a grocery store.
Candy Kitchen Ranch is located 60 miles south of Gallup and consists of 18 sections of land, each section being 1 square mile. It is interspersed with sections of Indian lands, state lands and BLM federal lands. In the 1970s, Candy Kitchen Ranch began to attract developers and it changed ownership several times. Dick Pitchford was a main developer and created his own company "Pitchford Properties" separating the land into subdivisions. He built a small airport in the mid 1970s, using it to fly in clientele from Tucson, Scottsdale, Phoenix and other nearby cities. He made the properties very affordable offering customers 0 down payment and owner financing. By the end of the 1980s all of the properties were sold and properties were only available on the secondary market. Today, companies are active in selling land, homes, and cabin properties in Candy Kitchen, Ranch. Candy Kitchen Ranch currently attracts many retirees and baby boomers who are looking to get away from the city and live closer to nature.
Candy Kitchen is currently the home of the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary which provides shelter for wolves and wolf-dog crosses who have been raised by people who could no longer provide care for them.
There is also the Candy Kitchen Trading Post, which is in the center of the community, directly across from the "Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary". A new addition to the community (opened in the late spring of 2011), the trading post offers mostly everything needed to survive in the "kitchen"...from a deli, to hardware, to a laundromat, it gives its citizens the ability to stay as long as possible in the area without having to travel 120 miles round trip to a store for basic supplies.