Shot & edited in 1 day by Ben Schreiner for Traditional Arts Indiana and indianaartisan.org
Pat Bennett was a Hoovers Candy customer long before she was its owner. In fact, her childhood memories and love of Hoovers traditions was why Pat and her family purchased the candy store 10 years ago. They are only the sixth family to know the secret candy recipes dating back to Ella and John Hoover, who opened the store in 1896.
Pat and her family have since moved the store, restored the soda fountain and added a banquet center what is now known as Hoovers Candy and Eatery. Her daughter Amber Delphia says the family puts in their blood, sweat and tears to keep the shop open every day. She also says it is well worth the effort.
Regulars come in and order a cherry coke every day. Grandparents share a chocolate shake with the grandkids, Amber says. We let kids go behind the counter and pick out a piece of chocolate for their first birthday. They remember that.
Over time the techniques for candy making have changed, but Pat and her family take great pains to insure the quality of the candy menu. The cinnamon logs and caramels are two examples of the treats that keep people coming back.
We have one client that buys our candy as client presents, Amber recalls. One year they decided to do something different but they came in the store in a panic after one of his clients was so mad that he didn't bring Hoovers.
Pat and her family want to grown the business and think their involvement in the Indiana Artisans program is a step in that direction. Amber says Hoovers offers a taste of history. We are a candy store thats been open almost 200 years. We think people will travel for that.