Our Roots

As a second generation candy making family, our passion is creating craveable ways to combine modern and fresh flavors with our proud European heritage. Carefully crafted innovations come to life in our central coast California Chocolate Factory where we layer the most fun, flavorful, ethically sourced ingredients we can find with deliciously decadent chocolates.

The result: A collection of snackable, sharable, and giftable everyday indulgence that you’re sure to enjoy…and feel good about!

Marinus van Dam grew up in his native Holland during World War II. To help support his family at the age of 15, Marinus found a job at a local candy factory. His job was to take a sheet of metal and scrape up the candy that had become stuck on the factory floor. He tirelessly worked the 4 floors of the building every day.

His endless curiosity and work ethic caught the attention of management and he was selected to attend Candy Technology School, paid for the by the company (very progressive for 1945!) This pattern repeated until he learned every aspect of candy making from the finest hand-made chocolates to jellies, caramels, taffy, nougats, gums, mints, licorices and more.

In 1957, Marinus left Holland to come to America where he heard the streets were paved with gold. After working for a small confectionery company in Ohio, he heard of a larger company in California that was hiring so off he went to join the Wild West. To his great fortune, he landed the job and spent the better part of his career at that company helping to build it into one of the finest companies in the U.S.

After a lifetime of working for others, he felt it was time to venture out on his own. In 1983, Marinus and several partners founded Marich Confectionery Company. We started working at the company sweeping floors and cleaning before being granted the right to learn the craft. Our dad’s philosophy was, “You cannot be a leader if you do not understand the job from the ground up. Once you learn how to keep a plant clean, you can learn how to make candy.” Being old-school Dutch, our Dad put us to the tasks of cleaning toilets, sweeping, making boxes and whatever had to be done. Over the years we both learned the art of fine candy making alongside our Dad. True to family business form, we also learned to weld stainless steel, sweat copper, install equipment, electrical work, and all the types of things that have to be done to keep a business running. Anyone reading this that works in a family business is smiling…you know what we’re talking about!

After 35, years we continue to enjoy building our business together and yes, we still eat chocolate. Honestly, rarely a day goes by that we don’t eat at least a little. If you are a candy maker, you have to love candy and you have to be a perpetual kid. Work should be fun; if it’s not, it is a miserable way to spend the better part of your day.

– The van Dam Family