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Classic L.A. to Z: S is for SEE’S CANDY

Ever since Charles See and his mother, Mary, opened their first store on Western Avenue in 1921, their chocolates have been inspiring the sort of hearts-in-our-eyes excitement that a 72 percent cacao bonbon wrapped in bacon just can’t. Simply dressed in black and white, the stores have a homey appeal that highlights the Midwestern roots of so many of the people who moved to L.A. in the early 20th century. At the company’s factory (3431 S. La Cienega Blvd., L.A., 310-559-4919 or sees.com), the recipes have changed little over the decades (no high fructose corn syrup here). The tradition of plying patrons with free samples at shops has persevered as well, with a million pounds of Divinity, Bordeaux, and Scotchmallow handed out each year. When Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Easter make up three-quarters of your annual sales, the spirit of giving must come naturally. 

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