Posted By admin on January 23, 2010
Even from the very beginnings when Marie Cavanaugh spent hours in her South Dakota farmhouse each Christmas season making pecan rolls and homemade chocolates for holiday gifting they were lovingly made one piece at a time.
“It started when my aunt sent her pecan-rolls recipe,” Mrs. Cavanaugh recalled. “I gave the recipe my own touch and started making the yummy specialties. Then I began dipping chocolates. Our friends and neighbors loved these treats, encouraging me to start a candy business. Finally in 1964, I decided it might be a good idea.’”
Her husband George and children Carla, Lorraine, Calvin, Colene and Genise rallied, helping Mrs. Cavanaugh fill demands for her homemade sweets. They soon out grew their farm home and relocated to their small rural town center and open up a store. In the process of the move they need to borrow money to begin their adventure. Money was tight back then especially from their local banker. This did not deter Marie she went in with a 2 lb box of her chocolates, after the banker devoured most of the box of chocolates she received all the money she needed and she also obtained her first large Christmas order from the banker. The rest is history.
The town of Gettysburg SD had more cows then people. Marie spent a lot of time on the road promoting her chocolates as far away as Wall Drug for all of the holidays including Christmas, Valentines, Easter, Mothers day and Fathers day. The small farming town was not large enough to support the business and Marie’s dreams, so in 1972, the family moved to Utah, leaving good friends and their beloved cattle ranch. “It was a difficult decision, especially for George,” Mrs. Cavanaugh said. “He was excited about making our new venture, which we chose to call Mrs. Cavanaugh’s Candies, a great success. We felt Utah was blessed with good chocolates and that we would enjoy – and could compete with – those who pride themselves on making excellent chocolates.”
Millions of pounds of chocolates later, Mrs. Cavanaugh’s Candies have earned a reputation for unquestionable excellence…and each piece is still made one piece at a time.
It all starts with rich thick crème fresh from the dairy, real creamy butter, hand selected nuts, and the best chocolate money can buy. The batches of candy our still cooked in the copper kettles still making small batches. Some of the caramels take almost 4 hours to cook giving it time to caramelize and bring out the natural flavor of caramel.
When the candy batch has cooled individual pieces are cut or rolled into small bite size tasty treats. All of the centers are coated by silky smooth chocolate and hand marked with their personal signature on top of the chocolate. There is lot of hand labor involved in making home-fashioned chocolates but it is worth every penny we spend people can taste the difference especially when you see the delight on their faces and they say “is this what chocolates really taste like”. After one bite they are hooked for life. Each box is carefully assorted in beautiful Valentine hearts and boxes of many sizes, shapes and colors.
Mrs. Cavanaugh has always stayed true to her promise “we will never compromise quality ingredients, even if we have to raise the price we will never use cheaper ingredients, cut corners or use inferior products, and you can still taste the difference. Marie is still involved in the business, and it is still family owned and operated. Many of the pieces are named after grandchildren like the famous Mindy Mint, Chad and Brady to name a few.
Ask chocolate aficionados around the world that have tasted the difference. They will direct those seeking the best to the world famous Mrs. Cavanaugh’s Candies. Over the years they have received many awards like best of state, small business of the year and even ranked in the top ten chocolates in the country. Marie has always said “Care enough to give the very best”. The tradition of excellence will continue, only using the best ingredients money can buy creating chocolate masterpieces by hand one piece at a time.