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California’s Gold: See’s Candy

Airs Thursday, December 29, 2011 at 8:30 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: See's Candies - Mall of America, 60 East Broadway, Bloomington, Minn. See's treats as far as the eye can "See"!

It started back in 1921 and quickly became one of California's biggest and "sweetest" success stories. The little shop on Western Avenue featured the favorite candy recipes of Mary See and focused on farm-fresh ingredients and homemade goodness. Before long this little shop had grown into a chain of stores serving loyal customers, and See's Candies had become famous around the world.

This photo of a typical See’s shop from the early 1940s shares many similarities to present-day shops, with the familiar black and white checkerboard flooring and glass case of candies to choose from. If you could step back in time, you would even recognize many of the most-popular candies from today in the cases!
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Above: This photo of a typical See’s shop from the early 1940s shares many similarities to present-day shops, with the familiar black and white checkerboard flooring and glass case of candies to choose from. If you could step back in time, you would even recognize many of the most-popular candies from today in the cases!

In this calorie-laden edition of "California's Gold," host Huell Howser gets a first hand taste of the See's story. First he visits one of the earliest shops to open in San Francisco and meets with current and past employees. While there, Huell also talks with regular customers who come in to purchase their particular favorite type of See's Candy.

Then he travels to Los Angeles for a tour of the inner sanctum of the See's Candy factory where the historic candies are actually made. It's an assembly line like none other in the world, manned by employees who have been with the company for years.

The story of See's Candy is indeed a true California success story -- one of which Mary See surely would be proud!

See's Candies is on Facebook.