Living less than five minutes from Davis Candies in Canton has proven to be a sumptuous pleasure for my palate and a sad disadvantage for my derrière. Most days, the palate wins. For me, it’s the intense, silky, melt-in-your-mouth dark chocolate French mints. When I buy a pound of them, I always tell myself that I’ll only eat one per day. Lie, lie, lie!
For my husband, it’s the homemade chocolate creams. Cherry creams. Blueberry creams. Raspberry creams. Cream creams. It doesn’t matter whether they are covered in milk chocolate or dark, those from-scratch, ooey-gooey creams are what he craves.
The kids are delighted with just about anything Davis Candies makes, from chocolate-covered strawberries and Oreos to coconut haystacks, white chocolates, kettle-cooked caramels and nut clusters of every variety. The outstanding aroma, snap, texture and flavor of their chocolates makes it easy to understand why Davis has been in business for 70 years.
Most of the time when I stop by, Nancy Deckerd is behind the counter, greeting me with a smile. She has a long history with Davis Candies. Her first job at age 15 was working for her uncle and aunt, Hughie and Rhea Davis, who originally opened H&R Davis Candy in 1942 in a home on 20th St. in Canton. In 1950, they moved their company to the corner of Third St. and Shorb Ave.
Today, Nancy and her husband Rob own Davis Candies, and her father, Lloyd Davis (Hughie’s brother), is their chief cook at age 82. The store is now located at 3437 Middlebranch Ave. NE, just off U.S. Route 62 in Canton.
They use the same recipes that Hughie and Rhea perfected and employ the same equipment to make, cut and wrap every piece by hand. Even more amazing to me, they still purchase the exact same ingredients – including 100% pure chocolate (no wax or other additives) – from the same suppliers Hughie and Rhea always trusted. Makes me feel as if I have a boutique chocolate factory right in my own backyard!
Nancy says, “When we took over the company, we found many of Rhea’s recipes on scratch pads. Now they are safe in our recipe book. The legacy of my aunt and uncle is very important to me, and I am reminded of it every time people stop by and tell me they remember them.”
If a trip to Davis Candies on Middlebranch is out of your way, you can also find the chocolates at Fisher Foods, Green Farms in Alliance, Kountry Korner of Maximo, Byler’s Flea Market in Hartville, Blue Heron Cafe in Massillon, Ashton’s 5 and 10 Store in Carrollton, Krieger’s Health Food Market in Cuyahoga Falls and Cornerstone Market in Monroe Falls.
Of course, I won’t be driving to any of those places for Davis Candies. Eat your heart out!