Candy Kitchen honored for 50 sweet yearsFirst store opened in 1963 on Rehoboth Avenue
Rehoboth Beach — For five decades, Candy Kitchen has been a destination for children of all ages looking to indulge their sweet tooth with fudge and saltwater taffy in Rehoboth Beach.
Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce honored Candy Kitchen shops Jan. 24 for serving the Cape Region for the past 50 years.
Founded in Ocean City by Sam Taustin in 1937, Candy Kitchen expanded its reach and its selection of candy flavors. Bruce Leiner, Taustin’s nephew, eventually took over the business, which now has four locations in Rehoboth Beach alone. The first store in Rehoboth came in 1963 at 102 Rehoboth Ave.
Bill Klemkowski, who presented the award, said originally, Candy Kitchen bought its taffy and fudge from taffy makers in Philadelphia until Taustin’s brother, Curt, persuaded him they should make their own candy. At first Candy Kitchen produced eight flavors of taffy, gradually expanding to more than 30.
Klemkowski said in 1975, Leiner forged ahead by introducing gummy candies, starting with gummy bears and expanding to include gummy sand sharks and a three-foot-long gummy snake. He said Leiner refers to Candy Kitchen as a “big, small business.”
In a peek at the store’s future, the award was accepted by Leiner’s son, Josh, the fourth generation of the Taustin/Leiner family to run Candy Kitchen. Josh Leiner said don’t expect too much to change with Candy Kitchen’s winning formula.
“We’re still doing everything the same way we were 75 years ago,” he said.