This western New York confectioner started production in 1946 when two brothers and their wives started making chocolates in their soda fountain storefront outside of Buffalo. As word got out about their high quality products, production expanded, more relatives got involved and expansion grew. Today, business has exploded and it’s understandable.
I grew up enjoying sponge candy and it’s another childhood taste memory that I missed living away from Western NY. This area is home to Sponge Candy; others have tried to imitate it, but it’s just not the same. Made by hand in small batches, each sponge is carefully cooked in traditional copper kettles by highly trained candy makers. These crispy chunks of caramelized spun sugar are then coated in creamy chocolate. When you take a bite, the crunch of the spun sugar melts with the chocolate, giving you a mouthful of delicious happiness. And it’s gluten free!
I met with Sharon Bellavia, the Store Manager for their Victor, NY location. Watson’s loyal customer base have been able to buy their products for over 25 years in the Rochester area. She said that generations of customers continue the tradition of eating sponge candy. “A couple of sisters bought a box to take to the cemetery to eat at their mother’s grave, on her birthday, since they enjoyed it together for decades.”
Watson family recipes are still made by hand and in small batches. Their candy makers and chocolatiers are extended family and take pride in using only the highest quality ingredients. In addition, Watson’s is committed to using only Fair Trade Certified Cocoa in all the chocolate products produced in their Tonawanda factory.
A favorite of thousands of chocolate lovers around the world, Watson’s continues to grow through retail, catalog and internet sales. To order for national shipping, you can contact Sharon directly at: 585-924-4002. Her product knowledge and cheery personality will guide you through their extensive selections with suggestions to personalize your order. Other than Sponge Candy, some of my favorites are: Praline Fudge, Salted Caramel Truffle, Chocolate covered Cherry Cordial and Milk Chocolate Meltaway.
If you’re nearby, walking into one of their stores is a sensory sensation. The aroma of chocolate will fill you with happiness and their large selection of chocolates will satisfy any chocolate craving.
Opinions of the author are her own and products were purchased or otherwise noted for discussion. I welcome your comments and suggestions for food and specialty items from upstate New York and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org