BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Most businesses would fail if they didn’t change much in 100 years.
But, as Mike Schuh reports, those who have flocked to a small candy shop in West Baltimore over the decades have ensured that hasn’t happened to Rheb’s Homemade Candies.
A century ago, Louis Rheb made chocolates out of his home, a pound at a time. Business was so good, he and his relatives expanded to the garage out back.
The garage, dressed up with windows and a door, with knotty pine walls, became the store. For decades afterwards, their customers have lined the block, waiting to snag a box.
Now, customer Elaine Katz passes on the custom. Her granddaughters, Abby and Ella, are hooked.
“This is truly a Baltimore tradition, it is for me, and I’m making it theirs,” Elaine says.
“I love it, I would eat the whole store,” says one of the her granddaughters.
The magic happens behind a tiny door in the basement next door, where there are trays of dipped cherries, oceans of dark chocolate, fistfuls of caramels and formed butter cremes. Rows and rows of decadence.
Plus, a “super top secret recipe book,” says Jarrod Bradley, a member of the family who has inherited the candy-making tradition. The book has been passed down from one generation to the next.
Each recipe is “missing something,” he adds, “so even if you had this, you couldn’t replicate.”
The Rheb family knows, without such traditions, this business would just be a fond memory.
“We love our customers, if it weren’t for them we wouldn’t be here for a hundred years,” says Pat Harger, the shop’s co-owner.
And now, she says enthusiastically that she thinks Rheb’s will last “100 more, because I have a daughter, and I have a son and they have kids.”
In honor of their customers, each one who came in today was given a free box of candy.