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Quigley Goes “Undercover” as Caramel Apple Maker

Nov 30, 2015
Press Release

CHICAGO – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) went “undercover” as a worker at Affy Tapple in Niles, Illinois, home of Chicago’s original caramel apple for over 65 years and the gourmet brand Mrs. Prindable’s.

“The Fifth District is lucky to have a business like Affy Tapple, which uses locally grown products to create a company that gives back to the community,” said Rep. Quigley.  “I appreciate Stuart for letting me come out today to learn more about the caramel apple production process, the company’s quality efforts and to meet with their hard-working employees.”

Rep. Quigley’s visit included a tour of the factory with the president and CEO of Affy Tapple, Stuart Sorkin, who explained the process of making their famous caramel apples. Mr. Sorkin and Rep. Quigley discussed the company’s long history in the community dating back to 1948, how the company is able to retain their experienced workforce, and issues facing the industry.  

“I was impressed at how much Rep. Quigley knew about our industry already and his interest in learning more,” said Mr. Sorkin. He also showed Rep. Quigley how the company gives back to the community through organizations like the Golden Apple foundation and their noticeable presence in surrounding schools. 

Rep. Quigley then began to work “undercover” as an operator on a sticking machine, which puts the sticks into the apple, applied toppings to gourmet apples, packaged products, and helped cook caramel.

“We enjoyed having Congressman Quigley see our facility and participate in our production process,” said Mr. Sorkin. “The employees were favorably impressed by his skills in performing some of their jobs. He learned firsthand how hard it is to make the perfect caramel apple!”

Rep. Quigley works on the assembly line at Affy Tapple adding sticks to what will become caramel covered apples.

Rep. Quigley operated the sticking machine.

Rep. Quigley operated the sticking machine.​

Affy Tapple, “Chicago’s Original Caramel Apple,” has been producing caramel apples for over 65 years and Mrs. Prindable’s, the nations originator of the gourmet apple gift, has been in the area since 1985. The company uses the mantra: “Quality = product + process + people.”

Rep. Quigley’s “Undercover Congressman” series connects him with constituents at their place of employment to better understand the daily challenges they face in their industry and community. Since taking office in 2009, Rep. Quigley has performed a wide range of jobs as an Undercover Congressman, including cleaning animal pens as a zookeeper at the Lincoln Park Zoo, packaging beer and cleaning tanks at Half Acre Brewery, pouring metal at a local metal refinery and delivering mail with the United States Post Office.