I consider chocolate its own food group. On Cape Cod in Massachusetts, there are candy shops galore and, after a week on the Cape, I finally decide to indulge. I am on the main street in Chatham, MA, drawn in by the sweet smell of chocolate wafting out the door of Chatham Candy Manor. Their motto is “if they weren’t made of chocolate they would be signed by the artist.”
Naomi Louise Turner founded Chatham Candy Manor in 1955 and made all her candies by hand using family recipes. Sixty-one years later, the company is owned by the same family and the candy is still handmade every day in small batches to ensure freshness. The small shop is packed with chocolates and candy of all kinds–homemade fudge, caramels, nut clusters, bark, turtles of every variety, hand-dipped truffles, and pretzels enrobed in chocolate.
On this particular fall afternoon, more than a dozen varieties of fudge are on display and slabs fly out the door with the steady stream of customers. Visitors are also drawn to the display of homemade taffy of almost every imaginable flavor.
I make a beeline for the peanut butter melt-aways and order several in both dark and milk chocolate. I’m tempted by a giant version of my favorite candy, but I stick with the regular size. Since this shop makes its own caramel (and everything else), I can’t pass them up. I leave with a small bag of caramels and chocolates for the road. I later confirm my suspicions—the caramels are silky and buttery; the chocolates fine-textured, with the deep, rich flavors of quality chocolate. I’m in heaven.
Service at the Chatham Candy Manor is attentive, informative, and friendly, keeping founder Naomi Turner’s welcoming alive the spirit.
If you can’t make it to Chatham, you can order online. On their website, check out the video of their homemade candy cane production. It’s fascinating. – Story and photos by Anne Weaver, RFT Editor