Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

A LIFE: RAYMOND X. McCOY, 1936-2016

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

A LIFE: RAYMOND X. McCOY, 1936-2016

Article excerpt

Yes, there are second acts in life. And Raymond X. McCoy's was sweet.

Gooey, too.

Ray McCoy, a Totowa native and father of five sons, put in four decades as a funeral director -- hard, necessary toil. He went to mortuary school after his Army hitch and worked at various funeral homes throughout North Jersey. For a while, he owned one in Paterson. Funeral directors are a genial lot; they have to be, because they help people at the most difficult of times. And Mr. McCoy, who earned extra money driving limos, was cut from the right cloth.

"He was absolutely a people person," said his son, Michael, who also had been a funeral director. "If there was no one to talk to, Dad would talk to a brick wall."

Nearing retirement age in 1999, Mr. McCoy pondered doing something different. Maybe even slowing down. That's when his friend and co-worker Carmen Bastante came to him with a proposition.

Bastante had learned of a business for sale in Clifton -- Metro Frozen Desserts. Despite the name, the desserts in question weren't really desserts. Nor were they frozen.

They were candy apples.

Apples on a stick, encased in that bright red candy shell that gets stuck on your teeth.

Whaddya say, Ray, Bastante asked. Want to be partners?

"My whole life, my father said to me, 'It's worth a shot, McCoy,' " Michael said. "So here's Carmen presenting something to him, and he decided, it's worth a shot."

What did the two morticians know from candy apples? Not much, at first. But they traveled to Tennessee to learn about candy apple making from a guru.

They changed the name of the business, to Metro Candy Apple, and added varieties like caramel-covered apples. They turned out hundreds of thousands of candy apples a year and managed to place their product before sports fans at Giants and Yankee stadiums.

Not only did Mr. McCoy master the process of cooking up corn syrup in giant kettles, he also made deliveries and schmoozed his customers. …

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