Inside 50 Natoma Streel was home to a sweet celebration Tuesday night as the City of Folsom honored the family members behind Snooks Chocolate Factory for officially reaching a business milestone. Folsom Mayor Rosario Rodriguez presented the Snook family with a Resolution of Commendation as the business celebrates 60-years of continuous operation.

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“The Folsom community would like to extend their heartfelt appreciation and sincere congratulations to Snooks Candies for the countless hours, hard work, sacrifices, and dedication that it takes to run a successful business,” said Rodriguez as she presented the resolution. “On behalf of the Folsom City Council and the Folsom community, we hereby honor Snooks Candies on their 6oth Anniversary and thank the Snook Family for the immeasurable happy moments, special events, and celebrations that they have been a part of.” 

Following the issuing of the proclamation, several members of the Snook family took a moment to speak to City Council and those in attendance Tuesday. Throughout the comments, they thanked the community for the continued support through the decades in Folsom.

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The celebration of Snook’s milestone doesn’t stop with Tuesday’s City Council presentation, this Friday it continues in Historic Folsom with an anniversary ribbon cutting, followed by ticketed benefit concert in the Historic Folsom Amphitheater, an event that is Snook’s way of giving back to the community by hosting a celebration that benefits a great cause, one that benefits future concerts and performers in the Historic District. 

The concert has been put together as part of the evening that not only celebrates the 60th Anniversary of Snook’s Chocolate Factory but will raise the needed funds for the Historic Folsom Train Depot freight room renovation project, which will become the Peter T. Lewis Greenroom once complete, providing an up to date space for performers to prepare for performances throughout the year, especially when it comes to the warmer months and the annual summer concert series. 

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“All of the proceeds from this concert will be going to the restoration of the old train depot freight room. Our goal is to restore it and create a beautiful greenroom for all our acts that perform at the amphitheater.” said Judy Collinsworth, Executive Director of the Folsom Historic District. “We just hosted 14 free awesome concerts, we have events like Festifall, parades, craft shows, carriage rides, and more that are all free to the public. Not only will this be a great concert but it’s an opportunity to support the non-profit that brings all these free events to the Historic District.”

This special night of great music features the unique CC Seger Band and offers a limited number of tickets to attend. Each ticket holder will have a provided seat in the amphitheater as well as a complimentary glass of wine, beer or a non-alcoholic beverage of their choice and, of course a candy dessert item provided by Snook’s. Tickets are now on sale and are $30 per person online. 

This 6-piece band gives a high-energy live performance of two amazing tribute bands in one.  They take audiences on a Night Moves ride through the rock and roll classics of Bob Seger as well as Creedence Clear Water Revival all packed into one big show. The combination of genres is one that drives crowds of all ages to the dance floor. 

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“Tribute bands are everywhere these days, it’s rare that you find a good one and even rarer to find two truly great tribute bands in one!  But that’s what you get with the CC Seger Night Moves/Creedence Classic Revival combo.  Featuring top notch musicians and two world class singers, your ears are in for a treat,” says Doug Thomas of 96.9 The Eagle KSEG-FM in Sacramento.

The amphitheater will be fenced off on the night of this special concert and is admission will only be permitted by ticket holders. The gates will open at 6:30 p.m. with music starting at 7. In addition to the great entertainment, a number of fine raffle prizes will be given away at intermission from area businesses as well as the Snook family. At this time a limited number of tickets are still available and can be purchased at VISIT THE TICKET PURCHASE LINK HERE.

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John Snook serves the Maid of California at the California State Fair, where he set up shop at the California State Fair to sell thinly stretched Peanut Brittle. He cooked it on site in a copper kettle.

Looking back at Snooks sweet history

Snooks Candies and Chocolate Factory was originally established in 1963 as Country Candies by the late John and Jeannine Snook.  The candy shop was located at the Arden Fair Food Circus in the heart of the city’s Arden area. Through the years, their children began becoming a part of the candy making business. 

In 1975 Jim started to learn the Confectionery Craft and later his older brother Jeff joined the company. John sold real estate for a few years until the market downturn. In 1980 they changed the name to Snook’s Candies.  John and Jeannine with the help of daughter Julie opened a store in Tahoe City in 1981 and eventually sold it 18 years later in 1999. 

It was the Arden store that brought Jim and Renee, Folsom’s true “candy couple” together. The couple loves to tell the story of how they met and fell in love and how chocolate was a big part of it. 

It all happened back in 1982, Renee had to visit a local department store to make an exchange. At the same time, Jim Snook was working at his parents’ candy store, stretching out the peanut brittle just inside the front window like he did on a regular basis. 

“He had his name tag on his shirt, so I said, ‘Hi Jim, it looks hot back there.’ I didn’t even know what I was doing but my feet weren’t moving!” is how Renee describes their meeting time and time again. “He asked what my name was, so I told him. Then I got my bread and left.”

Every Saturday after that, Renee would see Jim working at the candy store when she was shopping. One time, he decided to get her number. “He yelled my name and came running after me,” she said. “I said, ‘Yes, Jim, what can I do for you?’ That’s how it all began.” 

With the lease at Food Circus nearing its end and the new landowners planning to demolish and rebuild the site, the family opened a new business in Historic Folsom below what was then the Hacienda Restaurant March in 1985. John knew the owners of the Hacienda Restaurant who lived in Tahoe City and they had recently purchased the building in Historic Folsom and were seeking tenants. It was then that the Snook’s name officially became a part of the Folsom community.

In 1999 after John and Jeannine sold the Tahoe City location and looked forward to retirement. Jim and Renee Snook purchased their shares of the company and in 2002 moved the business to its current home on Sutter Street. The move is something that took the business to the next level. Not only was it located on a premier corner of the Sutter Street, it also made it possible for visitors to actually watch all those chocolaty goodies being made.

The Snook family legacy began in 1963 when John and Jeanine Snook opened Country Candies in the Arden Food Circus.

The Snook family legacy began in 1963 when John and Jeanine Snook opened Country Candies in the Arden Food Circus.

“Producing our product on view to the public is in our business model to provide an experience. You don’t need to buy anything to walk away with the feeling that this was a unique place,” Jim explained. “That does bring its challenges, manufacturing in a prime retail location. We have much of the space dedicated to production which normally would be done in a more industrial location.”

Since the move, the Snooks have been very involved in Historic District, participating in countless community events year after year. Additionally, Jim has served on the board of the Folsom Historic District Association and is the current board president. It’s just one example of how he follows the family motto of working hard and being open for their community.

“Renee and I have always tried to bring vibrancy to the district. We always committed to regular hours 7 days a week. But our move to the current location in 2002 seemed to have spurred some much-needed attention to the Historic District. We can’t imagine a better place to be than where we are right now.”

Back in June of this year, the original “Candy Man” John Snook passed away at the age of 91. Up until is passing, John still visited the store almost daily, running errands or making a delivery. Sometimes he just enjoyed sitting on a bench or at a table and talking to folks, sharing stories and chatting. 

Today, the business carries on with 3rd and fourth generations making confections on a daily basis using the lessons originally taught by John Snook and combining those early day techniques with innovation to be a continued success. The business is one of Folsom’s true gems, being it’s turning 60 next month it is undoubtedly a diamond that continues to shine in the community. 

To learn more about the upcoming celebration or purchase tickets here, VISIT THE EVENT LINK BY CLICKING HERE

Bill Sullivan
Author: Bill Sullivan