The Atkinson Candy Company was founded in the east Texas town of Lufkin by B.E. Atkinson, Sr., and his wife, Mabel in the desperate days of 1932, when it was getting hard for anybody to make a living.
The company currently operates out of a 100,000 square feet facility and is led by siblings Eric and Amy Atkinson, grandchildren of the founders. The company specializes in peanut butter and peppermint-flavored candies; the current product line includes Coconut Long Boys, Gemstone Candies, Black Cow, Slo Poke, and Chick-O-Stick.
Chick-O-Stick is a round bar dusted with ground coconut, the interior honeycombed with peanut butter and the orange hardened syrup/sugar mixture that also forms the shell. When eaten fresh, the candy is dry and brittle, but it has a tendency to draw moisture and become hard and chewy on the shelf. Chick-O-Stick is available in 0.36-ounce (10 g), 0.70-ounce (20 g), 1.0-ounce (28 g), and 2.0-ounce (57 g) sizes, as well as bags of individually wrapped bite-sized pieces.
The original wrapper featured a stylized cartoon of a chicken wearing a cowboy hat and a badge in the shape of the Atkinson logo. The chicken is absent from the more recent wrapper, since it understandably created some confusion over whether Chick-O-Stick was candy or a chicken-flavored cracker.
One of their sales guys just “came up with the name one day, and well, it just stuck.”