Littlejohn’s Candies

Best Toffee, August 2009

The secret to the “world-famous” English toffee at Littlejohn’s Candies at the Fairfax District Farmers Market is the nuts: unsalted raw almonds mixed with butter and sugar on the inside, unsalted dry-roasted almonds that stick to milk chocolate on the outside. So says Michael Graves, owner of the popular sweets shop, which celebrates its 85th anniversary this year, its 63rd at this location. We’d argue for the toffee’s silky texture (it won’t break a tooth) and the way thick slabs are packed in old-fashioned cardboard candy boxes. Graves modified the original recipe slightly when he took over the business in 1983. Watching him nimbly navigate his 350-square-foot stand—crammed with copper kettles, marble countertops, and trays of colorful confections—we’d say he knows what he’s doing.