Dewar’s Candy (Bakersfield, California)

Dewar's Candy Bakersfield
Photo by David Prasad

Originally known as The Chocolate Shop, Dewar’s Candy in Bakersfield, California, was started 1909 by the brothers James H., and George Dewar. Dewar’s Candy has survived in its current location, as a family owned business since 1930.

The first candy store opened by the brothers in 1909 was located at 1665 Chester Avenue in Bakersfield, California, but George decided candy would not be his future and moved to nearby Taft with the first three years. At this point James took complete control of the business and continued to operate it with his wife and young family. In 1910 James married Lena B. Yancey and over the next twelve years they had four children that would become the future of Dewar’s Candy.

James moved his business to 948 Baker Street in 1917,and remained there until the family decided to move to Ventura in 1928. The Dewar’s operated a small store in Ventura, but were called back to Bakersfield in order to be near Lena’s mother. During their brief time in Ventura, Lena’s father passed and her mother offered to build them a new shop if they returned. The prospect of having a shop built exactly the way they dreamed, and of course being close to family was overpowering and the Dewar’s opened their Eye Street candy shop in 1930.

The candy shop has been in the same Eye Street location since its 1930 opening, and it is here that they have earned their place as part of the fabric that makes Bakersfield unique. It is also at this shop that James decided to start making ice cream, thus giving Bakersfield its longest running soda fountain.

Dewar’s Candy Facts

  • It’s pronounced De-Wars, not Dew-ars.
  • The children of James and Lena were Joseph H. (1912), James A. (1914), Mary Ellen (1915), and Rosalind (1922).
  • Five generation of the Dewar family have worked at and taken care of Dewar’s Candy Shop.
  • James and Lena’s youngest child Rosalind continued to dip chocolates until until she was 85 years old. She retired from the family business in 2007.
  • Dewar’s Candy Shop address is 1120 Eye St, Bakersfield, CA 93304.