Just Around the Corner: Boehm’s Candies and Chocolates

Built in 1956, the building is the first Alpine chalet built in the Northwest. The University of Washington’s architecture school recognizes it as an authentic Alpine chalet.

I’ve been passing by Boehm’s Candies for decades whenever traveling to Eastern Washington. It’s tucked away along Interstate 90 in Issaquah, and if you blink, you’d miss it.

On Saturday, we decided to stop and look inside the old chalet.

A Boehm’s employee offering candy samples.

I’m not an expert on what to look for in good chocolate. There’s only two criteria I use: Is the chocolate fresh or stale? And does the goodness of the taste remain in your head long after you’ve consumed the candy?

A box of salted caramel chocolates

I tasted a sample of Boehm’s strawberry chocolate; it was soft and smooth. I knew instantly that it was fresh. Logically, it was just made to share immediately with the public.

The second test was also easy. As I had walked around the store, all I could think about was how good the sample was and I’d sure like more. My weakness relented, and we ended up getting a bag and two boxes.

Inside the Alpine chalet.

As I consume the morsels right now, here’s some history:

Founder Julius Boehm was born in Austria in 1897, lived for a while in Switzerland, and by 1941 emigrated to America.

In 1942, he and friend George Tedlock started their first candy shop in Seattle’s Ravenna neighborhood.

In 1956, they added a new site in Issaquah, where they had an Edelweiss Chalet built to harken to the beautiful Alpine homeland of Julius. As you walk around the store, you’ll see mementos of the old Swiss life: Bronze cowbells and a huge alphorn adorn the ceiling.

The entrance of the candy store honors its founders.

Julius was active in the community, teaching swimming and skiing as well as donating to organizations. In between running the business and taking care of his family and indulging in sports, he managed to climb Mount Rainier three times.

After he passed in 1981, fellow Austrian and head candy maker Bernard Garbusjuk continued his legacy.

Bernard is now preparing to hand the business to his children, Tyson and Narissa.

Boehm’s offers 100 different confections. Visitors may also take tours of the chalet grounds and make their own candies in classes.

It was a good trip to finally visit this place. As they say, it’s better to be choco-late than never.

It’s located at 255 N.E. Gilman Blvd., Issaquah, WA 98027

You can visit the website here

— Story and photos by David Carlos

Mountlake Terrace resident David Carlos often submits photos and videos profiling interesting places nearby.

 

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