In 1952, Mr. Charles & Mrs. Lorethea Hamke purchased the house on 427 N. 2nd St. in Vincennes, Indiana. Charlie began remodeling their new home with the help of co-workers from Schultheis Furniture Repair. His friends would not accept payment for their work so Charlie got some large metal cans from a local bakery. He would fill them with homemade caramel corn and gave them to the men as thank-you gifts. Those men shared the treat with their neighbors.

Charles and Lorethea

It didn’t take long and the Hamke’s telephone started ringing with people wanting to buy. Without her husband’s knowledge, Lorethea placed an advertisement in the newspaper and people started knocking on the door. Lorethea and her mother, Alta Amsler, spent their days sewing and waiting on customers until Lorethea got the idea that their time could be better spent making some candy, 1955 and the candy business was born.

When the house was paid off in 1968, Charlie quit Schultheis and worked full-time in the candy kitchen. He passed away in 1978. The business continued to flourish as Lorethea diligently worked until she was ninety years old. At that time she wanted the business to continue on so she sold it to siblings Darrel/Emily Bobe and Lorrinda/Bob Ellermann.

Lorethea with Emily, Darrell, Lorrinda & Bob
The Bobe's and Ellerman's

Because the Hamkes did not have children Lorethea opted to sell to Bobe and Ellermann since they had been around the candy store since they were children. Their grandparents were best friends with the Hamkes. Lorethea continued to be head advisor until she passed away in 2006. That same year the house was hit by lightening. The damage was severe and the store was closed for three months. It was at that time that the showroom was moved upstairs while the candy is still made in the basement. The Bobes and Ellermanns feel blessed to keep the tradition going. They continue to use the original recipes and use only the best ingredients.