A Hundred Years Ago, See’s Candies Launched in an L.A. Storefront

A century later, the iconic California candy company remains true to its original recipes—with a few tasty tweaks

If it’s delicious, why change it? This year marks See’s Candies 100th anniversary, and the recipes for many of its most popular treats, such as the milk-chocolate-covered Butterscotch Square, have changed little since a widow named Mary See first whipped them up in the Pasadena home she shared with her son, Charles, and his family.

“Most of our candy does date back to Mary’s recipes,” says See’s CEO and president, Pat Egan.

The company opened its first location on Western Avenue in 1921, and this year the confectioner is celebrating with a centennial assortment box ($15.50) packed by hand—as all See’s candies still are—with its most iconic goodies, including the unique rectangular Lollypops and the top seller, the Scotchmallow. But the company, which now makes it candies in factories in both L.A. and San Francisco, is also changing with the times. Customers are increasingly demanding dark chocolate, and See’s recently offered up a richer version of the Butterscotch Square for a limited time.

“I heard it over and over: ‘Just put dark chocolate on the Butterscotch Square, and we’d love it,’” Egan says. “I would expect that, in the long term, we will
 have it on our shelves and as a regular piece.”

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