"Be absolutely persistent in all attitudes regarding quality. Buy only the best ingredients obtainable. Offer the most delicious and interesting assortments of candies possible. Provide the highest level of customer service in all aspects of business." ~ The See's Candies Philosophy
What a great philosophy. One that could be adapted to my job and many others. As a kid growing up in Northern California, See's candy was our normalcy. Those black, white and gold boxes showed up at almost every holiday and special occasion in our house. I equate these chocolates to my childhood. We did not dare purchase a Whitman's sampler box, as my Grandma always reminded me that they did not have the same quality as See's. I don't know if that is truth, but I always listened to Grandma and if she said Mary See was the best, then I believed her. Over the years I've had my favorites. Our family was a "Nut and Chew" family so creams rarely made their way to our home. A see's tradition is to offer a free sample candy with every visit, so naturally, I looked forwrd to going there and I always choose something unique. Scotchmallows were my first introduction to their signature honey marshmallow. Marshmints with their green jelly were a St. Patty's Day tradition until they took them off the market in the 80's for lack of sales. Always being true to the consumer, Chuck Huggins (the CEO) received a letter in the late 80's from a devoted Marshmint fan, respectfully asking for them to come back. Not only did he bring them back, he included a little Marshmint Club member card when you purchased them. (I have somehow lost mine over the years).
See's is a tradition, if you grew up with them then you likely also introduced your children to them at some point. My son used to love the scotch kisses (still does), and we loved that we could just go in and buy him a small box of those. Unfortunately, my daughter did not have much of an opportunity to fall in love with See's because we moved to Texas when she was two. She knows how good they taste (online purchases) but has not had the opportunity to experience the feeling of walking into a shop (that will change shortly).
You never realize what you miss until it's gone. I remember the first Christmas here in Texas I started missing my traditional nuts and chews, or the beloved molasses chips and sweet gourmet lolipops. I was quick to find them online and order them but it still lacked the tradition of walking in to that crystal clean white and black store-with the sales staff smiling at you and welcoming you with a free sample.
Jumping forward to now, I saw an invite for a soft opening for the new Sees candy shop opening in North Austin on my Austin Bloggers page. I had not previously heard this news and was so excited! I jumped on that free ticket (and glad I did because they went fast). The event was sponsored by Orange Wall Collective and all the district managers and See's PR people were there to welcome us and give us a fun filled sweet night. Of course, now that I'm practicing a low glycemic lifestyle, I had to take into consideration that my body could only handle a few free samples. But needless to say on this special occasion, I decided to leave that lifestyle at the door and let my taste buds go so that I could go back to a sweeter time in life when customer service meant a warm smile and a free sample of delicious, quality made candy! I'm jus' sayin'!
*Disclaimer - For the record, I mean no disrespect to Austin's own candy store Lammes. They also make delicious candy and I am pretty certain that if you asked an Austinite that had to move to a new state they would miss Lammes just like I missed See's. It's all about tradition and what you are raised on.
|I'm serious about the smiles in this place.|
|This uniform never gets old nor does the smile.|
|The uniform has not changed much from 1930's Still crisp and clean.|
|Candy Maps as a reference provided at candy counter.|
|Everyone has their favorite - this is one of my Tequila Guy's.|
|My Son's Favorite.|
|Plenty of Easter options.|
|Know a co-worker in need of a pick me up?|
|My Mom's Favorites.|
|One of my Favorites.|
|Can't decide - they've got that covered too.|
|Fun highlight of the night - we had to work on a candy line and it's much harder than it looks!. We were in some serious competition to get our box filled first. We tied with the other team.|
|Believe it or not, there is a method to the perfect candy placement in those boxes.|
|Fun night with fellow Austin Bloggers.|
|And the SWAG! Enough candy to last me for quite a while, but don't worry See's, I will be back soon!|