Greetings Candy Fans!

As we approach our first quarter (3 months) in business in a pandemic economy, we're grateful to patrons like you who have made all the difference in our quest to carry on Douglas Shaw's 90-year-old legacy in San Francisco. THANK YOU!!!
"And a bell was ringing in the village square
For the (delicious fudge) rabbits on the run."

~ Band On The Run/Paul McCartney & Wings (with lyrical assistance from Shaws Candy)
Same Day, Every Month
A year after Douglas Shaw's 89-year-old business closed, new owner Diana Zogaric and her three children (and an army of contractors) completed a 5-month rebuild and re-launched the new Shaws Candy on January 18, 2021. We mark that fateful day with an 18% discount on all Mitchell's Ice Cream products on the 18th of every month!
The Easter Kid
In April's Candyland blog entry, Diana Zogaric reveals the ghosts of Easters past that set her on the winding road to the role for which she was born: The owner of a candy store, filling Easter baskets.

Here's an excerpt:

Hiding eggs for Easter is a universal game, passed down from one generation to the next. Digging those eggs out of snow banks is not.

Such are the whims of meteorology when you grow up near the Great Lakes. One Easter in our suburban Detroit neighborhood might feel like a springtime romp in the park; the next, an Arctic excursion.

Through sun, wind, sleet or snow, our next-door neighbor, Jan, would stick her head out the window and croon her off-key version of “Peter Cottontail” as we Heydel kids -- I was the oldest of six -- hopped on down the bunny trail in search of the obvious or the elusive, depending on how Mother Nature decided to camouflage the painted egg treasures that we sought. 

That was the way every Easter began back in the day. The mood switched from festive to obligatory as we marched off en masse to Sunday Mass -- always at noon, because that’s when the real Catholics, the varsity if you will, gathered each week. 

The St. Stupid's Day Parade through the usually somber/sober Financial District has been an April 1st tradition in San Francisco for more than four decades. St. Stupid was the patron saint of raspberry fudge, a Shaws Candy tradition for nearly three months!
Shaws Candy's Kayla Chan was lucky to get her hands on two of the hottest-selling items at the store: Orange and Blackberry Vegan Sour Strips from Ashby's Confections in Scotts Valley.
The Accidental Introduction
The circumstances that propelled Jennifer Ashby into Diana Zogaric’s orbit were just warped enough that both confectioners figured that the universe itself had arranged their meeting. 

In the fall of 2020, shortly after Diana purchased the shuttered candy store at 122 West Portal in San Francisco, she took a vacation to her hometown in suburban Detroit. On a visit to a beloved family restaurant in Frankenmuth, Mich., Diana studied the candy store in the lobby -- one she had visited for decades -- with the fresh eyes of the confectioner she had recently become. She bought a few chocolates and popped one in her mouth. It was exquisite. She had to find out more.

The harried cashier blurted out the name of the vendor from whence the chocolates came, and Diana scrambled to punch the information into her phone. Upon returning to her parents’ place that night, she Googled the company and was delighted to learn that it was located in Scotts Valley, halfway between San Jose and Santa Cruz. The next day, she called Ashby’s Confections and the owner, Jennifer Ashby, picked up the phone.

“I think you’ve reached the wrong company,” Jennifer said, “I don’t have any retailers anywhere near Michigan.”

Diana, who hadn't been sure that she heard the busy cashier correctly in the first place, took it as a sign. As did Jennifer, who had ambitions of distributing her signature product, Vegan Sour Strips in an array of fruits, “from California to New York.”

By the time the conversation ended, Diana had secured her first vendor for Shaws Candy, although a daunting demo and rebuild would delay the grand re-opening of the 90-year-old store until mid-January 2021.

It didn’t take long after the ribbon-cutting for Diana to discover what Jennifer had already ascertained, with mixed emotions, about her own company: her bon bons and other chocolates sold well enough; but Ashby Confections was being consumed by an insatiable demand for her vegan products, specifically her sour strips.

“It turned out that this is the thing that I make that people are obsessed with,” Jennifer noted. “No matter how much I increase efficiency, I cannot keep up. I don’t have the employees, space or equipment to get ahead.”

None of which is waylaying her dream of seeing her sour strips in stores from coast to coast, a goal on which she is so focused that she will soon unveil a new name for her signature product in the hope of trademarking it: Sourbys.

Like it or not, Jennifer is well aware that her vision is almost surely going to require her to pivot Ashby Confections into a specialty confectioner. Like her meeting with Diana, the success of Jennifer’s Vegan Sour Strips had some intervention by the universe.

“They were the product of an accident,” she admitted. “I made some fruit candy and it wasn’t super popular. So I put it aside trying to figure out what I was going to do, and it got a little dry. But the texture was amazing, and I thought that if I added some sour flavors to this, it might be salvageable. So I started giving away samples, and people went nuts!

“I’m not vegan, but I am interested in a healthy diet and I recognized the demand,” she added. “A lot of gummies are made with gelatin, which comes from the bones of animals, and that’s not something I’d use no matter how I classified my own diet. I use pectin. With my vegan tortoises, I used coconut cream instead of dairy cream.” 

The relationship between Jennifer and Diana may have started as the result of crossed wires, but it was galvanized by a simpatico business philosophy: candy, like the food served in their favorite San Francisco restaurants, could aim for the extraordinary.

“When my kids were little, I never put those cheap, hollow chocolate bunnies from the grocery stores in their baskets," Diana said. "I would always go to World Market and get them finer chocolates and nice toys for their baskets.”

“When I started this thing almost 20 years ago I was inspired by the farmer’s market movement around here,” said Jennifer, an Ojai native who stuck around Monterey Bay area after attending UC-Santa Cruz. “I have dedicated myself to curating these gourmet candies. There are easier ways I could do this, but the dedication to the fruit wouldn’t come through. Things like purees make it taste artificial.”

Jennifer is fond of telling the uninitiated that her soon-to-be Sourbys, which come in as many flavors as the locally sourced fruit she can secure on any given week, taste like “grown up Sour Patch Kids.” 

As her text alarm went off. Jennifer glanced at her phone and laughed. The message was from Diana.

It read: “Send more sour strips NOW!!”
March 2021
April $50 Gift Card Contest
You must be signed up for our monthly newsletter before noon on April 1.

One answer per person.

Winner must pick up gift card in person at Shaws and agree to a picture for publicity purposes.

Card is good for in-store purchases only.


The nearly 8,000 inhabitants of Easter Island (pictured above) are considered citizens of this nation, which lies some 2,200 miles across the Pacific Ocean.

To enter, click the link below and enter this information on the SUBJECT LINE:

1) Your name; followed by 2) your city of residence in parenthesis; followed by 3) a hyphen and your answer.

For example:

Julie Smith (San Francisco, CA) - Russia

4) Then enter your daytime phone number within the body of the email.

Entries that do not follow this format will be disqualified. We will not use phone numbers for any purpose than to inform the winner. "Russia" is used for example purposes and is not the correct answer.

Entries must be submitted by 10 a.m. Monday, April 5.

All correct answers will be entered in a drawing to be conducted live on Shaws Candy's Facebook page at 11:30 AM on Monday, April 5.

March 2011 Winner:
Peggy O'Brien (San Francisco)
Peggy, here with her grandkids, was one of 17 entrants in our March 5th Facebook Live drawing who correctly answered the contest question in our March Candyland newsletter:
The Answer: Berkeley

George Berkeley (1685-1753) was a bishop in the Anglican Church of Ireland -- and the namesake of the Bay Area's 11th-largest city. As for more detail, we defer to the most enthusiastic reply of our inaugural contest:
122 West Portal Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94127

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Friday & Saturday: Noon-8:30 PM

(415) 683-5626