The Candy Ladies of Wittich’s
Since 1840, Wittich’s Candy Shop has been a large part of the Circleville and Pickaway County community. For the last 180 years, residents and travelers have made the local candy shop a large part of their traditions – stopping in to buy candy for Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, and other holidays.
None of this would be possible if it wasn’t for G.F. Wittich opening the shop in 1840, where it was passed down from son to son… before Frances Beery took over the shop after her husband passed away. Since then, the shop had been passed on to Fred Wittich before Janet Wittich took over in 2015 after Fred passed away.
Since then, Janet and the women of Wittich’s Candy Shop have maintained and continued maintaining a business that has become an icon for Circleville, Ohio, and Pickaway County as a whole.
“I jumped on board by marrying Fred. And that was the big jump right there,” said Janet.
When asked what inspired her to become a part of Wittich’s, it was the desire to work there and to learn the ropes. She had been apart of the Wittich’s team for forty years, marrying Fred in 1977, having their daughter in 1978, and working at the candy shop around 1980.
“I wanted to work at Wittich’s, and I wanted to learn to dip. But it didn’t turn out that way too well. So Fred worked at the Firehouse every third day. So on every third day, I would come in and make a batch of candy, whatever needed done,” Janet explained.
Once Janet’s daughter, Fran, was old enough to attend school, Janet was able to start working five days a week at the candy shop. This allowed her to learn more about the recipes, how things were done, and even learned how to wait on customers as they stopped in. While she was new to this and nervous about waiting on people, she grew used to the task.
“Fred liked the fact that he was giving people jobs and having people be able to work, but I like just helping people. Get what they need and just like waiting on people,” Janet shared when asked about the most rewarding part of the job.
One of the things that stands out at Wittich’s is the family vibe that lingers within the walls of the building, and how aspects of the Wittich’s family history are still in every area of the candy shop today. Customers can get a glance at former pictures of Wittich’s family members hanging on the wall inside the shop, as well as get a glimpse into the past with the pictures and stories they share on their Facebook.
“Francis Beery, she worked at the store longer than her husband ever did. She was here since almost from the time she graduated from high school until she passed away,” Janet shared. “All the Wittich’s are gone, but still, it’s just in the atmosphere. Like I still feel Fred here. You know, I still every day think of things his mother told me and it’s just ongoing.”
While most of the family has moved on to other careers, Ginger, Fred’s cousin, still helps out at times. In fact, even the kids and grandkids come back around to help out during the crazier times, which tends to be during times like the Pumpkin Show.
The Wittich’s have been pretty dedicated to the business that they have built over the last 180 years, and Janet, with her team – Tammy Ayers, Becky Fortier, and Sandy Casey, are continuing that dedication. The giving of their time and resources has allowed for those in the community to build up memories that will stick with them, and that is evident when you see the reminiscing responses they receive on their Facebook posts.
That said, all the women at Wittich’s make it clear – owning your business is not easy. That said, they’re all proud to be a part of this incredible team, and a part of something that the community can see mentioned in other news outlets or on Facebook and say: “Hey, that’s my hometown.”
Wittich’s Candy Shop is located at:
117 W High St
Circleville, OH 43113
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