BROOKVILLE — A company that has created candies and treasured memories for more than 60 years is “hopping” into the next holiday season.
Generations of families can remember getting “Dan Smith’s Candies” in their Easter baskets growing up.
Sandy Whaley, who has been a Dan Smith Candy Company employee in Brookville for 22 years, said the firm makes about 2,500 “milk-chocolate standing rabbits” during the Easter season.
Whaley enjoys coming up with different creations to add to Easter baskets or other holiday treats, she said, such as chocolate letters to spell out children’s names. She is always working ahead for the next holiday’s goodies, she adds.
“I enjoy seeing what we come up with,” she said. “You can’t help but fall in love with the product.”
The DSCC began as an ice cream company on the porch of Dan Smith’s Brookville home in 1946. After seven years of success in the ice cream business, Smith branched out and started making candy. His firsts were the coconut and peanut clusters still sold by the company today, according to the history.
Smith sold the business to the next generation of his family in 1984, with the factory and store in Brookville continuing to “flourish,” the history says. The Clarion and Ridgway locations were then opened, too, offering gifts on top of candies.
The family-owned business was purchased by the first nonmembers of Smith’s family — Joe and Amy Scarnati of Brockway — in August of 2015.
The Scarnatis previously owned the Rocky Grill restaurant in Brockway, and can remember traveling to a Dan Smith’s store every Christmas to buy chocolate, she said.
The “Dan Smith’s Candies & Gifts” stores in area counties offer everything from milk and dark chocolates, specialty items and gift baskets to holiday candies. Some favorites include peanut butter meltaways, sea salt caramels and chocolate covered pretzels.
Once they took over, the Scarnatis expanded to open the Indiana and DuBois locations, she said.
It’s a lot of pressure to carry on such renowned recipes and traditions, Scarnati said, but an honor. Many employees have worked there a long time, too, and are very helpful.
DSCC chocolate products are “kitchen fresh,” Scarnati said, with no waxes and easy melting. The company also ships to areas all over the country.
One of the most enjoyable things has been being a part of people’s holiday joys, she adds. Customers come in and say they couldn’t wait to get a Dan Smith Candy product in their Easter basket or Christmas stocking, she adds.
“The greatest part has been carrying on that tradition,” she said. “Dan Smith’s has a lot of memories.”
The Brookville store at 77 Barnett Street, which is also the main factory location, brings in other handmade items like seasoned cashews, too.
They do their best to give back to the community, too, contributing to fundraisers for local organizations and schools, she said.
In the future, the Scarnatis are focused on increasing sales and their online presence, she said.
“We have our regular customers for every holiday, and it continues to grow,” she said. “People have faith in our candy.”
For more information, visit www.dansmithscandies.com, the Facebook page, or one of the five locations.