Lammes Candies, now in its second century of candy making, was founded by William Wirt Lamme in 1878. Originally called the Red Front Candy Factory, the store was located in the 800 block of Congress Avenue - the main business street in Austin, Texas. Although William Lamme lost the business in a poker game in 1885, his son, David Turner Lamme, Sr., came to Austin to repay the gambling debt of $800 and reclaim the store as his own.
On July 10, 1885, Lammes Candies officially opened and has been family owned and operated ever since. After a few years, the store was moved to a new location at 919 Congress Avenue where it remained until 1956.
During the early years, Lammes mainly sold ice cream and gem (a frozen fruit dessert made from whole milk, similar to sherbet). Horse-drawn wagons made their way up Congress Avenue from the rail station emblazoned with: "Another carload of ice-cream cartons for Lammes." Sugar rationing during World War II caused Gem and ice cream to be phased out; however, soon after the end of the war, ice cream and Gem were started up again. Unfortunately, neither gained much popularity. In 1965, David Lamme Teich discontinued production of the ice cream and Gem and expanded into the production of chocolates.
The company's current bestseller, the world famous "Texas Chewie Pecan Praline," was first produced by David Lamme, Sr., in 1892 after seven years of recipe tasting. The ingredients are still the same: pecans, corn syrup, sugar, mild butter, and salt. In the beginning, pecans from the trees along the Colorado River in Austin were used to produce the praline -- Lammes continues to follow this tradition today, using only Texas grown pecans.
At first, Lamme did not cook the pralines on a regular basis. Devotees would place their orders with him and he would produce the praline when he had enough requests to make the minimum batch of 25 pounds. He would then send handwritten messages to his customers, letting them know their orders were ready. Visitors to Austin wanted to be placed on the special list of preferred customers, which resulted in the establishment of the mail order division and the production of the pralines for the public during the 1920's.
Lamme brought numerous innovations to his business. For example, he installed the first ammonia refrigeration unit in the southwest. The lamb logo, used to get people to pronounce the family name correctly, was the first neon sign in Austin. Lammes also had the first soda fountain in Texas.
In 1945, Lamme and his wife, Lily, sold their business to their children - David Lamme, Jr., Lena Lamme, and Evelyn Lamme Teich. In 1946, the store was remodeled, featuring glass doors together with stationary panels of hermetically sealed glass (another first on Congress Avenue).
In 1965, the children incorporated the business, now officially called Lammes Candies Since 1885, Inc. In 1970, David Lamme Jr. Died of a heart attack, and in 1972, David Lamme Teich and his mother, Evelyn Lamme Teich, bought the business from Lena Lamme and David Lamme Jr.'s widow, Joyce. Evelyn Teich died in 1985 and the business was left to David Lamme Teich and his three children. David Lamme Teich passed away in 2004 and since then the company has been owned and operated by David's children: Pam, Bryan, and Lana.
Today, the fifth generation of the Lamme family continues the legacy of world famous confections. Lammes Candies is now a full-line candy company offering more than 1,000 items. The "Texas Chewie" is still the number one selling product with over 2,000 pounds produced daily. Starting in the 1960's, pecans and chewy caramel were added to premium chocolate to create the famous Longhorns. Later, Choc'Adillos were born by surrounding caramel with whole roasted almonds and covering them with milk chocolate. Finally, crunchy cashews were smothered in caramel and topped with chocolate to complete this Texas trio with the Cashew Critter. A variety of other confections have been added to the line with the latest introduction of Kisses. Lammes' candy kitchen lovingly prepares many more delightful chocolates, taffies, brittles, and other surprises, like divinity to please the most discriminating of tastes. Lammes Candies Since 1885, Inc. is dedicated to providing great service and a wonderful shopping experience to our customers. With seven stores throughout the Texas Hill Country, Lammes employees are willing and able to go the extra mile to deliver excellence and mouth watering confections to our customers.