There is something special about Muth’s Candies on Market Street, and you know it the minute you walk in the door. A business steeped in family tradition since 1921, not much has changed since then. But, that’s a good thing.
As with many family businesses, pride runs deep. Candy is made fresh here daily. The work here is done by hand, no shortcuts, piece by piece. Even after all the candy is made, the pieces are individually tagged with an old fashioned printed label, nary a barcode in sight.
I got a behind-the-scenes tour from Muth’s manager, Martha, and her sister Rose Ann, who have been raised at Muth’s Candies, just like their parents, grandparents and children. Just the smells alone were worth the tour.
Martha and Rose Ann’s great aunt and uncle started the business in 1921. They had no children, and the business was passed on to their grandparents, then parents and then eventually to them. Martha and Rose Ann are from a family of seven children. At one point, three generations of this family were all working in this building. They had a small daycare built in the building, so that the children could stay there as babies.
Making candy is personal to them. Each person in the family has their own way of making candy. They can go down the line of drying candies and tell you who made which piece. It is as individual and unique as handwriting.
Candy making is tantamount to chemistry, as I have learned lately. One thing goes awry and the whole batch is ruined. Lucky for them, they can eat all of their mistakes.
They make all of their candy in cornstarch molds. It looks like powdered sugar at first. A hard candy mold is pressed into the palette of cornstarch and then the candy placed in each mold. The candy dries in there, is taken out and blown off by an air compressor then dipped in chocolate or whatever coating.
Fun fact: did you know that every piece of candy has a distinguishing mark. I compare it to hieroglyphics. For example, Buttercreams have a B on the top.
There is a legend for all of these candies. Wish I had known this after many a wasted bite of chocolate, only to discover I didn’t like what was inside.
My favorite part of the tour, besides the smells, was looking at all the original copper pots and machinery they use. They are beautiful, and some of the pots are 90 years old, custom made in Louisville.
Muth’s is gearing up for Valentine’s Day, which makes me want to buy all of my children’s candy and treats for Valentine’s Day parties here (and every other holiday for that matter).
Because Muth’s Candies are not mass-produced, anything can be custom ordered. Call them to order whatever your Valentine really wants in their candy box, instead of tossing lots of candies missing one bite into the garbage can.
This entire wall of white boxes will be gone by Valentine’s Day. These boxes contain the heart-shaped candy boxes.
Thank you to Muth’s Candies for a wonderful experience.
Muth’s Candies is located at:
630 East Market Street
Louisville KY 40202
Tuesday – Friday (8:30am – 4:00pm)
Saturday – (10:00am – 4:00pm)
Sunday – (Closed)
Visit their website for online ordering at www.muthscandy.com.