The retail location in Issaquah, Washington is an absolute masterpiece of Austrian architecture that is not only accompanied by a candy factory but a stunning mid-century chapel as well! However, the real magic happens when you open the front door. Immediately are greeted with a warm smile and are overwhelmed with the aroma of fresh chocolate and sweet caramel. Welcome to Boehm’s Candies, a family business that offers handmade sweets, loving smiles, and rich 75-year candy-making history!
We sat down with the current owner, Bernard Garbusjuk, to learn about the candy making process, history of Boehm’s Candies and why they settled in Issaquah! Watch the video below:
Tribeca NW loved our visit to Boehm’s Candies! We want to say a big thank you to Benard and Narissa who welcomed us into their business, gave us a tour and allowed us to sample some of that delicious Boehm’s candy!
Boehm’s Candies offers a huge variety of chocolates, truffles, and confections. Everything from smooth dark chocolate to single origin chocolate sourced from Ecuador! My personal favorite was the English Toffee! It has a solid crunch covered in milk chocolate and toasted almond pieces. Oh so good!
We had an amazing time at Boehm’s Candies! If you are or know of a local business that would be a great fit for an NW Spotlight please let us know here!
Keep learning about Boehm’s amazing history!
(Historical information, written portion, and pictures below used with permission from Boehm’s Candies)
Julius examines the Olympic torch he once carried for the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany and fills chocolates with cream.
In 1924, Julius ran with his Austrian team in the 400-meter relay in the Paris Olympic Games, and in 1936, he was honored by being selected to carry the Olympic torch en route to Berlin for one kilometer over Austrian terrain.
As Julius had become a child of the mountains, he utilized his mountaineering skills to escape Hitler’s tyranny in 1940 and fled to Switzerland. From there he came to the Pacific Northwest in 1941.
Soon after arriving in Seattle, Julius and his friend George opened their first candy kitchen in the Ravenna area of Seattle. The mountains of his hometown where calling Julius, and after discovering the beautiful landscape of Issaquah, he moved Boehm’s chocolates to the foothills. Boehm’s Candies still stands there today, a testimony of the resilience and hard work of Julius.
Meet The Owners:
Carrying on the legacy of Julius Boehm, Bernard Garbusjuk has owned and operated Boehm’s Candies for over 30 years. Bernard and Julius’ similar experiences immigrating to the United States from Europe united them in a special bond. For nearly 10 years prior to Julius’ death in 1981, Bernard worked closely under Julius. During this time, he not only learned the special recipes of Boehm’s confections but also grew to love and appreciate the unique history and charm that makes Boehm’s Candies the attraction that it is today.
Bernard not only comes from a long line of Austrian candy makers, giving him the innate ability to learn the delicate craft of chocolate making but also underwent extensive culinary training in Germany. After working as Julius’ assistant, Bernard became head candy maker, running the daily production. To this day, as the owner of Boehm’s Candies, he continues to work closely with the candy makers, developing new confections and jumping back into the kitchen as a candy maker when needed.
Boehm’s Candies is truly a place of tradition, as even most of the staff have been with the company for over 15 years. Bernard is now passing this legacy on to his children, Tyson and Narissa, who are learning the company just as he did – from the ground up.
Boehm’s Candies has been an active member of the Issaquah community for over 55 years, and a member of the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce for 35 years. As an essential part of the community since 1956, Boehm’s has donated to local organizations and causes, employed over 1,000 Issaquah area youth, and hosted events such as the Issaquah Chamber’s Chocolate, Wine, and All That Jazz.
By Paul Denisenko