Grab Bag #029

History bon bons just for Friends of Woody

Grab Bag #029
History bon bons just for Friends of Woody.

A brief moment of honor for See’s Candies on Clement Street and 9th Avenue, the last of the San Francisco olds:

candy store
See's Candies at 754 Clement Street

The store appears exactly the same as when I was a child. The workers are still clad in white and black, looking like puritan parlor maids and old-timey gas station attendants.

In 1959, there were 15 See’s locations in the city, from the Mission to West Portal, the Financial District to the Sunset. Now its stores are mostly in suburbs and tucked inside malls. San Francisco has three spots left: Clement Street, the Flatiron Building downtown on Market Street, and at the Stonestown Galleria. Online business is probably the cash cow.

See's at 2128 Chestnut Street off Steiner Street, February 26, 1962. (San Francisco Assessor-Recorder, SFP 23, Public Library/AAK-1563)

I still get a box of nuts and chews from someone at Christmas each year, the red-paper-wrapped rectangle as recognizable to me as a line of Sunset stucco homes.

Where's the diagram?

Candy stores, sweet shops, and ice cream parlors used to be very localized, mom-and-pop-run places until See’s got all Starbucksy and “disrupted” the industry in the 1930s.