Dexter, Iowa, has been known as the home of Drew’s Chocolates since 1927.
They are especially busy before and during Christmas. Many people ordered Drew’s Chocolates to send to servicemen during World War II.
My dad, Warren Neal, was a farmer who enlisted in the Army Air Force during WWII, graduating and becoming a pilot at Marfa Army Air Base in Texas in early 1943. He taught advanced cadets there for several months, and married Doris Wilson in May of 1943.
The only place they could find to rent was a room in a Marfa church, which is where we find them the Christmas of 1943. They weren’t allowed to cook in the room so didn’t need a table for meals, but they’d been writing letters using an ironing board as a hard surface.
Warren’s uncle, M. M. Neal of Dexter, had sent them a box of Drew’s for Christmas. After the candy was gone, the box was still handy.
Christmas Eve Day, Dad built a table for the room, using an empty Drew’s box for a carpenter’s square.
50 Years Ago
My grandmother, Leora Wilson, sent Drew’s Chocolates to relatives on the West Coast every Christmas through the decades.
The Christmas of 1969, she had Drew’s ship a box to my husband while he was serving 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.
What a great story of a family business and a small town tradition! Dexter must be very proud of Drew’s Chocolates.
Especially for a town which has never had a population over 800 souls!
Beautiful story! Wow! What an inspiration…the story of these chocolates plays out the true Christmas spirit, one of giving from the heart.
Yummy! I like tales of successful businesses in small towns.
I worked there when I was in High school….and my dad was the carpenter who built the addition on to the house.