Sweet Memories Come Crumbling Down With Portage’s Fannie May Candies Demolition
Years of sweet memories for Kalamazoo and Portage residents came crumbling down on Monday when the building that had housed Fannie May Candies at South Westnedge and Milham Rd., off and on for some fifty years was torn down.
Fannie May Candies started in Chicago in 1920, when H. Teller Archibald opened his shop on North LaSalle Street. Wikipedia says that's when he introduced his Buttercreams which became an instant hit. But it was after World War II ended and ingredients were no long rationed that Fannie May came up with it's most popular candy ever, the Pixie. Mint Meltaways and Trinidads followed in the 1960's and 70's.
While Fannie May no longer has stores in Michigan, they are just a short drive away in Illinois, where they have a showcase store on Michigan Avenue, which features a "Cafe at Fannie May" with baked items, too. There are also location in Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana and Iowa. And they do sell over the internet.
Along with that information was the flood of memories on Vanished Kalamazoo and the requisite cynical speculation about whether the location will see a new credit union or a pot shop. The funniest speculation was a roundabout built at the intersection with a dollar store in the middle.
Administrator Greg Gabry posted a photo of the Cities Service gasoline station that predated the original Fannie May. And several people remembered Fannie May had closed maybe a dozen years ago, and became The Candy Lady, and then reverted back to Fannie May a couple years ago before closing for good. The demolition of the building in Portage also brought reminders that this was not the original Fanny May building on the site, but a newer one. However, the Google timeline tool shows the same building since 2009. One common comment on Facebook has been people always only seeing one car in the parking lot. And going through that timeline, most of the images showed one car and never more than three in the past 13 years.