Some of the businesses in Gatlinburg have been around for decades, making them nostalgic for people who visit the Smokies again and again. One of the most popular shops in the area is Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen, where you will find the originators of the taffy log candies! Keep reading to learn all about the history of this incredible candy shop in Gatlinburg.
Gatlinburg Gains Popularity
When the Great Smoky Mountains National Park first opened in 1934, people came from all over the world to visit the area. By 1935, more than 500,000 people passed through Gatlinburg to visit the national park. Since so many people were coming to the area, more and more businesses began opening for tourism. By the 1950s, Gatlinburg was exploding with restaurants, hotels, and attractions.
The Candy Kitchen Opens
In 1950, a couple named Dave and Peggy Dych were traveling to California to make their fortune and stopped in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The couple immediately recognized the growing tourism industry in the area, and they had a dream to create a candy store on the main street where people could stop and watch goodies being made.
The first shop was opened in the couples’ garage where Dave made taffy for the wholesale market. Later in 1951, the first location of the candy shop opened before The Village Shops existed! By 1956, the second location was opened.
Start of the Chocolate Factory
In addition to taffy logs, Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen also offered all kinds of chocolates. They built a chocolate factory in 1953 that was overseen by a caretaker named Amos Cole. He lived in the upper level, watching the candy and machinery while spending his free time making home brew beer. Eventually the upper level was expanded, and the first chocolate maker and dipper were hired.
Building Their Dream Shop
Years after opening their first location, the Dyches rebuilt their original shop location between The Pancake Pantry and the entrance of The Village Shops where the store still stands today. People could walk by and look into the store while candymakers stretched and pulled their signature taffys on a vintage machine, which is exactly what the couple always wanted.
Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen Today
People from all over the world enjoy tasting the handmade candies from this shop to this day. In 2014, the candy store launched their online store, so you don’t even have to visit Gatlinburg to purchase their signature candies, but there’s nothing quite like walking past the candy store and watching the candymakers at work. You’ll love the vintage feel of the old-school machinery as it twists and pulls the taffy, and you’ll feel nostalgic as you walk around the store looking at all of the different candy offerings to choose from.
Some of the signature flavors of taffy logs include banana, cotton candy, and moonshine. You’ll also find chocolate truffles, pecan clusters, caramels, and much more!
When you’re in Gatlinburg, you will have to stop by Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen to try their assortment of taffy flavors, chocolates, and candies! You won’t want to miss out on this unique experience when you’re in town. Thinking about your next trip to Gatlinburg? Look through our Gatlinburg hotel rooms, and book your next trip today!