Don’t you just love that episode of I Love Lucy when she is shoving the chocolates in her mouth and pockets as she pulls them off the line? Although I didn’t snag all of the chocolates off the conveyer belt, and believe me, I wanted to, I felt like I had stepped right back into time at Dinstuhl’s Candy Company to discover my number one CANDY CRUSH this Valentine’s Day, hairnet and ALL, Rebecca Dinstuhl!
Can you believe that these pictures were taken in downtown Memphis right off of Main Street? The first was in 1909 and the second was from 1952. This is the original Dinstuhl’s candy shop. Pictured is Mr. Charles Martin Dinstuhl Senior, his wife Lula, and an unknown soda jerk. The generations have continued to pass but Dinstuhl’s remains the same nostalgic candy store that is part of so many Memphian’s holiday traditions.
Dinsthul’s is in it’s 4th and 5th generation of ownership and continues to grow with their 5th location being opened downtown, right back on Main Street. A true Memphis staple. The delightful Rebecca Dinsthul, 4th generation, gave me a tour of the facility and I must say, I fell in love with chocolate all over again, Dinstuhl’s chocolate that is. As she showed me around, my inquisitive mind began to ask questions. In this post, you will find a little interview with my new Candy Crush!
ME: What is one of your top selling items?
Rebecca: It depends on the holiday. For Easter, we do giant, ornate chocolate Faberge eggs that many use as a buffet or table centerpiece. During Valentine’s Day, we roll out our limited time, special recipe, chocolate covered strawberries that are very popular. Of course our customizable heart shaped chocolate boxes are popular too. We have even been a part of the proposal by placing the ring inside the box before shrink wrapping! During Christmas, we also sell a lot of stocking stuffer candy. We have won the award for #1 Fudge in America, so that is a top seller as well.
ME: What is your biggest holiday?
Rebecca: Christmas is number one. We can customize most of our offerings. Many large companies want to gift their clients with something from the city they are in while also representing their brand. Because of this, we often brand our chocolate as gifts for corporations to give.
Since Dinstuhl’s has been around for some time, many Memphis families have made our chocolate part of the holiday tradition as well. Moms and dads will come in looking for one of our special molds that they remember getting as a child from their parents, to give to their children. Or Aunt Judy comes in looking for a box of Uncle Joe’s favorite brittles. We not only pride ourselves on the quality of our chocolate, but what our brand means to family traditions, past, present, and future.
ME: I am a HUGE chocolate covered strawberry fan. What makes your strawberries different from all of the rest?
Rebecca: Nobody dips them like Dinstuhl’s! We cap our berries and then immerse them into a sugar fondant which will work to bring out the juices within the strawberry. After that, we encase the entire strawberry in a rich and creamy milk chocolate. If you wait until they are around 2 days old, you will bite open the chocolate to find a very juicy strawberry!
ME: Do you make all of the chocolate right here?
Rebecca: Because we use such large amounts, we have sent our secret recipe over to a company called Peter Chocolate Co. Peter and Mr. Nestle were in business together and were the first ones to invent milk chocolate in 1865. They send us our chocolate recipe in large bars delivered on a palate for us to then being creating.
ME: What are some of your favorite projects from the past or upcoming?
Rebecca: We are currently creating the official Dinstuhl bunny that will launch this Easter. We are so excited about our bunny because he comes from an old, one of a kind, European mold that was loaned to us by one of our dear customers. Also, we make the welcome baskets for FedEx Forum. They are put in the green rooms before shows for the singers to snack on. That is always an exciting project.
What an amazing story and family ran business! Rebecca’s hard work and hand in her business really shows through the love she has for her brand, customers, and this city. You can meet Rebecca at Graceland’s upcoming Elegant Southern Style Weekend with Priscilla Presley and many other fabulous panel speakers, including yours truly! -xoxo
Want to share this amazing story with your family and friends? Hint, Hint, want some Dinstuhl’s chocolates from your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day? Drop them a hint buy pinning this pinn-able image to your board and giving them a little tag!