See’s Produces Over 1 Billion Pieces of Candy Annually!
Written By: Taylor Gorski
Photography Provided By: See’s Candies
See’s Candies, the iconic West Coast chocolate and candy brand, has been an American favorite since 1921. The first shop opened in Los Angeles and used Mary See’s one-of-a-kind recipes. There are now over 200 retail shops on the west coast, and when a new shop opens, there’s typically a line of anxious people wrapped around the building.
See’s chocolate is melt-in-your-mouth delicious, and you can’t possibly go inside a See’s Candies shop without purchasing (or at least sampling) a few chocolates, but there’s more to this candy company than meets the taste buds. After taking an inside look—and eating one too many scotch kisses—during the See’s Candies factory tour in Culver City, there are more reasons than ever to love their sweets.
The second you walk into any See’s Candies store, the sweet smell of fresh chocolate completely engulfs you…now, imagine that smell multiplied by 100. The See’s Candies factory is a chocolate lover’s dream—26 million pounds of candy is produced each year between the two Los Angeles and Bay Area factories. The first stop of the factory tour was the Bon Bon room, which is filled with employees making beloved See’s Bon Bons. Each piece is hand-dipped and hand-decorated—the patience and precision is unmatched! Scotch kisses (marshmallows wrapped and rolled in a thick, creamy caramel) are also produced in this room, and See’s marshmallows are made in-house.
The next part of the factory features a conveyor belt longer than a football field, which transports each piece of chocolate through a number of different steps. In fact, See’s employees who work at the start of the conveyor belt arrive to work 30 minutes before those who work at the end of the belt! The conveyor belt is filled with details that perfect each piece of delectable chocolate: a machine that coats each piece of chocolate not once but twice, a temperature gage to ensure the temperature of the chocolate is spot-on (so it won’t melt in your hand) and a moving curtain that whips a swirl design on top of the chocolate pieces. The chocolate is transported down this long belt, checked by employees and then placed directly in the box to be sent to stores!
See’s uses top-shelf ingredients and no added preservatives in all of their products. This is why See’s products have a shorter shelf life compared to other candies and chocolates; other brands can stay on grocery shelves for years, whereas you can taste the quality and freshness of See’s from the first bite.
Production Coordinator Dave Chapman, who has worked at See’s Candies for 30 years and gave the factory tour, says, “See’s Candies is a phenomenal company. People have worked here for generations; children and grandchildren have worked here and retired with See’s Candies.” See’s focuses on working with California partners and aims to stay true to their brand. It’s evident that a huge part of the success of See’s Candies comes from their employees, and the hard work they put in to making each and every chocolate piece is unparallelled.