A Sweet Life

The Showley Bros. Candy Factory 1905 – 1951

September 06, 2013 – February 14, 2014

The Showley wholesale confectionery—more popularly referred to as the Showley Bros. Candy Factory—operated from 1905 to 1951, and was one of many locally- based manufacturing enterprises that populated America’s small towns and cities a century ago. Today, San Diego isn’t known for its manufacturing but prior to today’s era of globalization, many existed downtown. As wholesalers, the brothers produced a wide range of products at the rate of 10,000 pounds of candy in eight hours. The signature product was known as the “Cluster Ruff,” a five-cent candy bar of chocolate and nuts with a center made of sugar, corn syrup, maple flavoring and nulomoline, a super-sweetener, and a nougat called mazetta.

The items in A Sweet Life were loaned to the History Center by U-T San Diego staff writer, Roger Showley, who is the grandson of the original founders. The collection is a treasure trove of family and company documents, photographs, and old candy recipes giving us a glimpse into what a day in the life of a candy maker was like over a hundred years ago.

To read more about the Showley Factory, click here.