In the mid 1930’s, Clarence and Margaret Wahl were living in a small house on Vera St with their daughter and four sons. They decided they would each like to take an evening adult education class at the local school. Clarence chose cake decorating and Margaret chose candy making.
Clarence soon decided cake decorating wasn’t for him and joined Margaret in the candy making class. As they pursued their new hobby, they began to offer samples to neighbors, friends and family. This led to people wanting to place orders, and as interest grew the home’s dining room became a retail display area, the kitchen did double duty as a candy kitchen, and the four sons were made to sleep in the attic as their bedroom was turned into additional production area.
Originally all family members helped in the effort, but second son Milton (“Bud”) took a special interest, and when he was discharged from the Navy at the end of WWII he and his parents opened a retail location at 2259 Genesee St., which included a soda fountain as well as a candy kitchen and chocolate shop.
In 1966 Bud and his wife Dorothy, now sole owners of the company, closed the soda fountain and purchased “Chestnut House” at 2351 Genesee St., originally an old farmhouse built in the 1820’s. After extensive reconstruction, the building was ready to be the new home of Wahl’s, and serviced an ever-expanding clientele from 1967 to 2004.
The Michael and Kathy Wahl era
Bud and Dorothy’s son Michael literally grew up in the business. Both parents needed to work full time at the candy store so he was there all the time as a young child. His first “job” was weighing jelly beans at age six, then at age 12 he began waiting on customers. He worked part time all through high school. Although he was planning on going to college, his father suggested he work with him full time for one year to earn some money before attending college. He sites his father for being very clever as he never did go back to school.
Michael joined the company full time in 1972 and assumed full control of the company in the late 90’s. Even after two expansions of the building on Genesee St, the company had outgrown that location and needed to find a new home. In 2003 Michael purchased land at 130 Losson Rd in Cheektowaga, and with his wife Kathy opened the present facility in 2004. Business again increased quickly at the new location and the facility was expanded in 2011.
When Michael was asked about his retirement he shared this:
"I have had the most wonderful career in the candy business, and truly - I hate to see it end. Nevertheless, time catches up with us all, and Kathy and I would like to have some time to enjoy life without the restrictions of having to run a business. I'm pleased to have connected with Ted Marks and Fowler’s. As the new owner, Ted is committed to maintaining the company name, recipes and chocolate formulations my father and I built the business on. I think my father would be pleased, as he often mentioned how much help Joe Fowler was when he was learning the finer points of candy-making. Bud Wahl and Roy Fowler were friends throughout their lives. It's fitting that the two companies, although still separate entities, will have a connection going forward. We wish them all the best."
Our Current Location
130 Losson Rd, Cheektowaga