The Candy Factory History
The Candy Factory first opened its doors on July 10, 1978 in the front area of Piedmont Candy Company, a wholesale manufacturer of pure sugar stick candy and mint puffs. Owner and second-generation candy maker, Robert Ebelein, sold his homemade fudge and peanut brittle along with his company’s signature products from this first storefront. Attracted by the store’s turn-of-the century décor, customers asked to buy antiques displayed in the store, so Robert and his wife, Frances, made the rounds of auctions and flea markets seeking antiques to offer in addition to their candy products.
The business was an immediate success and doubled in size after only 6 months of operation. Needing more space for candy and antiques, the Ebeleins bought the circa 1890 Lexington Hardware building on Main Street, renovated the store and opened for business under the striped awning on September 15, 1979.
Piedmont Candy Company was sold to the Reid family in 1987, but The Candy Factory retail store is still owned by the Ebelein’s three daughters: Jeanne Leonard, Beth Dean and Leigh Foster.
Today, The Candy Factory is everything you’d expect in a candy store of yesteryear. Its wooden floors have the kind of patina that develops from decades of feet wandering through rows of candy jars, and Robert Ebelein’s player piano often greets customers with old-timey music. The Ebelein family continues to cater to the sweet tooth desires of its customers from their storefront, and we now ship candy gifts throughout the US!