Helen Drew started making black walnut fudge in her home at the west edge of Dexter in 1927, using a recipe she’d gotten from relatives New England. They made six trays of it and put a sign up, “Mrs. Drew’s Candy Shop.”
This was the Depression Era, but the main highway between Des Moines and Omaha ran right by their home. Motorists and truckers stopping in town for gas would also visit the shop.
They branched out with other kinds of candies, experimenting and perfecting, but using the old method of hand dipping each piece.
During WWII people ordered Drew’s Chocolates to send to servicemen. My grandmother sent Drew’s Chocolates to relatives on the West Coast every Christmas, and sent it to my husband when he served in Vietnam.
Drew’s Chocolates are still made and sold in the basement of the same house along White Pole Road. They still ship chocolates all over the United States, and even to other countries.
Des Moines newspaper, 1957; 1968 Dexter Centennial history
Historian Rod Stanley’s “Sweet Success Story” about Drew’s Chocolates.
There’s a short Valentine story that includes Drew’s Chocolates in Leora’s Dexter Stories: The Scarcity Years of the Great Depression.