WEISER, IDAHO — One of our favorite parts in our Made in Idaho series is discovering local small businesses that might be otherwise overlooked. Six on your Side's Matt Sizemore found a hidden gem out in Weiser that if you didn't already know about, you'll want to head to as soon as possible. Also we want to point out that everything you will see in the video was shot before the current pandemic we're going through.
Despite the small population in the wonderful little town of Weiser, Idaho, you may find huge amounts of people flocking there to satisfy their sweet tooth at an incredibly popular spot.
"Weiser Classic Candy is a small batch gourmet chocolatier. We make all of our own chocolates and candies and confections by hand. It's all done in the very old fashioned way of...the old fashioned way of doing chocolates," said Weiser Classic Candy owner Patrick Nauman.
The famous candy shop was originally called Fawn's Fudge Factory when it opened 34 years ago, but Patrick thought it might be deceiving to keep that name when he bought the store 13 years ago.
"Most people can tell from looking at me that I am not a six-foot tall, red-headed woman, so I really didn't feel like Fawn capsulated what I was all about, so we actually launched a contest in the community to help us rename the candy store," joked Nauman.
Despite the new name, those who loved the old school shop can still come in without having to reminisce about how "things used to be."
"Fawn started a really good company and created a really good product, so we didn't want to mess with any of the recipes or any of those kind of things and we haven't actually eliminated anything that Fawn use to do, all we have done is add to it," said Nauman.
One huge addition to the shop was their full-service deli, cranking out some amazing lunch items.
"We're the cool one-stop shop, cause you can come get your candies and your chocolates, but we have a full-service deli so you can come in and have soups, sandwiches, salads that are prepared here fresh in front of you," said Nauman.
Though you can find sweets from Weiser Classic Candy all over the state and beyond, you'll probably only find them in smaller shops.
"We're in hospital gift shops, we're in flower shops, we're in boutique gift shops kind of all over the state, and we believe in small business helping small business, so that's why we kind of like to target those kind of places," said Nauman.
And those Idaho small business roots really show in the ingredients they use.
"Our sugar comes from the sugar beet factory in Nampa, which are sugar beets which are raised right outside of Weiser here, we do carmeled apples but we only do carmeled apples for a six-week season when they apples are coming fresh off of the trees out of the orchards right outside of town, the cream and the butter and all of those things we use all come from Idaho dairies," explained Nauman.
As for Patrick, who had a corporate job in Portland before acquiring his sweet shop, he says he couldn't pass up the opportunity to come back to his hometown of Weiser as a small-business owner.
"Quite honestly, I don't feel like I chose it, it chose me. I am the proverbial kid in a candy store. I absolutely love what I do, and people around here. I am known as the Candyman around town. I think half the town doesn't know my name is Patrick, they call me Candyman. But, I was born for this I kind of feel like, and I just absolutely love it!" exclaimed Nauman.
Like all food establishments in Idaho right now, Weiser Classic Candy is closed for dine-in options, but is still offering to-go options, including chocolate bunnies for Easter and a special box of chocolates that go towards a scholarship fund started by Patrick. Lastly, during this pandemic, small businesses all around the country are hurting as we practice social distancing, and this obviously includes the many small businesses here in Idaho. During the interview, Patrick discussed his time as a small business owner after buying Weiser Classic Candy just months before the recession in 2007, and we wanted to share that during this tough time.
"I remember what I was taught as a young man growing up, both my parents were involved in small business as well growing up, and it's just very important to me that small business help small business, and I am a firm believer that the rebuild of America and the economic vitality or viability that we're seeing now is all because of the growth of small business over the last few years, and I honestly believe that if we're gonna continue to grow and be strong as a community and as a country, it starts with small business," said Nauman.