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Ocean City candy ‘icon’ Wockenfuss hits century mark

(Feb. 6, 2015) The iconic Baltimore-based Ocean City candy company, Wockenfuss, is celebrating its 100th birthday this year.

“Our family owned business is excited in continuing to share our Wockenfuss candies with the next generations of customers for 100 more years,” Owner Chris Butler said.

The candy shop offers a variety of chocolates, old-fashioned candies and homemade fudge. Visitors have the option to choose from caramels, truffles, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, a few varieties of chocolate-covered nuts, candy apples, gummy candies, Jelly Belly products, licorice and much more after walking through the doors.

“The fresh, good-quality chocolate is the reason people love our candy,” Butler said.

Their most popular candies are vanilla butter crèmes and nonpareils.

“We have found that Wockenfuss is a family tradition started with parents and continued on by their children,” Butler said. “All day long people come in and tell us how their parents brought them to Wockenfuss. Here they are years later coming back on their own.”

While Wockenfuss fudge and salt-water taffy often reach peak demand during the summertime, sea salt mixed with cameral, cameral apple and butter crème is a new candy trend taking over Wockenfuss, Butler said.

Herman Charles Wockenfuss started the tradition when he came to America from West Prussia, Germany in 1887, learned how to make candy and opened Wockenfuss Candy Company in 1915.

Wockenfuss had several stalls in downtown Baltimore markets and the candy company continued to operate in these locations until 1983.

Its first storefront and flagship location opened in 1956 in Baltimore City. This location would be Wockenfuss factory headquarters until 2011, when the plant and store was moved to Harford Road in Parkville, Md.

Wockenfuss ran the business until his son, Herman Lee, and wife Marian took it over in 1945 after returning home from World War II.

Under Herman Lee’s reign, the business evolved and added three more stores to its original location on Belair Road in Northeast Baltimore.

Herman Lee was instrumental in creating the signature homemade chocolate candies, which are closely associated with Wockenfuss’s reputation.

The first Wockenfuss location in Ocean City opened in 1971 at First Street and the Boardwalk.

“We decided to expand into Ocean City because it was growing quickly and a lot of our Baltimore customers were traveling down here to vacation,” Butler said. “Also, it gave our business a much-needed income between the Easter and Christmas holidays.”

Wockenfuss continued to expand in Ocean City by adding its West Ocean City location in 2002 and opening on Seventh Street and the Boardwalk in 2005.

The West Ocean City Wockenfuss in the White Marlin Mall, is the hub for all shipped orders including ones made at their Baltimore stores.

Presently, there are eight retail stores in Maryland, including three in Ocean City. In addition, Wockenfuss has a growing and successful internet business.

Herman Lee and Marian’s son Paul took over as the president of Wockenfuss candies after Herman’s passing at the age of 92 last year.

Today four generations, including 12 family members, help keep the Wockenfuss deliciousness alive.

To celebrate 100 years, Wockenfuss will have a free, open-to-the-public factory tour of their Harford Road location in Baltimore on March 14.

In the summer, look for an anniversary box, coupons and giveaways.

“We look forward to celebrating our 100th year and are thankful to everyone who has enjoyed our candy and supported our family business,” Butler said. “We hope to continue making life sweet for many years to come.”

The Wockenfuss store in West Ocean City is open year-round.

For more information visit www.wockenfusscandies.com  or call 410-213-0314.

Employees of Wockenfuss in West Ocean City with
owner Chris Butler, second from left, take time to
pose for a picture in front of their candy case on
Monday afternoon. The iconic Baltimore-based,
Ocean City candy company, is celebrating its 100th
birthday this year.


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