Spokane is an area rich in history. Many buildings have been lovingly restored, but only a few of the early businesses remain. Next time you are downtown near the Spokane Falls Park, you will pass by one storefront that you shouldn’t miss. One historic company, Bruttles, is still selling candies and special treats just like the old days. And the confections will literally make your mouth water.
When you step into the Bruttles Candy Shoppe, you are taken back to a time where things were simpler. Products were created by hand. Candies and other confections were a special treat for trips into town on Sunday after church. The wonderful smells of peanuts, sugar, butter and chocolate were strong enough that you could take a bite out of the smell alone.
Sophia Gerkensmeyer (Aunt Sophie) started her career in candy making in 1914 at Spokane’s Tru Blue Biscuit and Chocolate Factory as a chocolate dipper and packager. Over the years, she just couldn’t keep her hands out of chocolate. Her career blossomed. One day, while working for another chocolate company she developed her now famous recipe for soft peanut brittle. It was delicious. With the encouragement of her family, she began her own business. She quickly gained quite a following. The Davenport Hotel, for many years put a Brittles peanut brittle candy on each pillow as a special way of saying thanks to their customers. The rest is, as they say, history.
Today, each batch of candy is still hand pulled on marbled slabs from the Davenport Hotel. The result is a confection with a soft flaky consistency and rich creamy peanut butter flavor.
The business is now operated by Jessica Parkhurst. Just like Aunt Sophie, Jessica and her staff never take shortcuts, insisting upon only the highest quality ingredients.
We recently toured the factory, getting a special peek of how the secret recipe peanut brittle is created. Jessica and her staff had just finished creating a batch. Let’s just say, we walked out with a handful of boxes for each of our family members.
Bruttles now has two locations. One is across from the Davenport and the other is located in the Spokane Valley, where they create candies on site. Bruttles Downtown is open 12 P.M. to 5 P.M. Tuesday through Friday. Spokane Valley store is open from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. You can reach Bruttles at (509) 624-2394.
Spokane Valley 12609 E Sprague Ave
Downtown: 828 West Sprague Ave
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