Aunt Charlotte's has been making delicious candies for 4 generations.
It was a perfect match. Charles Brooks Oakford, Sr. adored his Aunt Charlotte and he loved candy. And as they say…the rest is history.
In 1920, Charles, with the help of his wife, Ruth, began their candy-making business on the family stove in beautiful Merchantville, New Jersey. When he found the perfect formula, Charles sold those candies – delicious hand-wrapped caramels – direct from the front seat of his Model T Ford truck. Quickly, Mr. Oakford Sr.’s reputation as a chocolatier grew, and so did his business.
Charles soon graduated from the family stove in the Oakford kitchen, to Aunt Charlotte’s Candy Cottage – first at 16 S. Centre Street and then at 16 N. Centre Street. Everyone for miles around flocked to the lovely little stores.
In 1945, upon the passing of his father, Charles Brooks Oakford Jr. entered the business. Brooks and his wife, Bunny, had even bigger dreams for Aunt Charlotte’s Candy Cottage, and the vision and passion to make those dreams a reality.
In 1971, the business expanded once again, now under the name of Aunt Charlotte’s Candies, and relocated to its present location in a charming, historic 19th century building, at 5 W. Maple Avenue. Brooks’ eye for detail and love of bricks and mortar turned Beideman’s Feed and Grain Store from a rustic mercantile into an enchanting confectionery and one-of-a-kind gift store.
In 1984, a forty-foot, two story addition facilitated productivity, while being stylized to maintain the building’s original architecture. To this day Aunt Charlotte’s delicious chocolates are manufactured right there on that second floor addition, and customers are invited to visit the factory to see the magic, art, and talent it takes to create their signature chocolates and assorted treats.
Today, Charles Brooks Oakford, Sr.’s slogan of long ago still stands, and there is indeed – “Delight in Every Bite.” Proudly following the family tradition are third generation Oakfords – Randy Susan Oakford and Penny Oakford Trost, joined by fourth generation Ryan Trost, all with that same vision and dedication as it was almost a century ago.
Hard work, a joy of the business, and the love and devotion from four generations of chocolatiers have made Aunt Charlotte’s Candies one of the finest candy stores in America. Charles Sr. and his Aunt Charlotte would be proud.