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