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Burst’s Candies in downtown Corvallis is a dream come true for most youngsters, with jars of jelly beans, gummy bears and other goodies on the shelf, as well as a display case filled with hand-made chocolate treats, jelly candies and confections, such as peanut brittle.

Owner Patrick Magee said that he always makes sure to have goodies that a child with a quarter can buy.

Adults with a sweet tooth can spend plenty more on truffles and other gourmet chocolates, of course.

“We make it all here. It’s always been made here at the candy store,” Magee said of the artisan chocolates and other specialty items in the display case.

Burst’s is celebrating its 80th anniversary this month with special sales, daily giveaways and more. On a recent day, the candy store gave away marshmallows made in-house.

Magee also is sharing old Gazette-Times articles about the history of his business on the Burst’s Facebook page.

“We just encourage people to come in and see what we have going that day,” he said.

The secret to the business’ long-term success is largely due to the quality of the sweets, Magee said. “It’s absolutely fresh and there’s no other place in town that sells anything like that,” he added.

But other major factors are building relationships with residents and community involvement, Magee said.

“We get to know our customers. We try and be active in the community and support organizations when we can,” Magee said.

The store was founded in 1938 by Rhea and Charlie Burst. Magee took over from former owner Don Burck in 1996.

Though the ownership of the business has changed, many of its customers have remained the same for decades. Some families have been customers of Burst’s for multiple generations.

Beth Frolander Peterman of Corvallis was getting cashew “beavers” for party favors on Wednesday. The confection is Burst’s equivalent of “turtles” and are named for Oregon State’s mascot.

She’s been coming to the store since her family moved to Corvallis in 1958, when she was a youngster, and she’s always loved the mixture of caramel, nuts and chocolate in Burst’s beavers.

Becoming part of family traditions is critical for the business, and some residents come back every year to purchase certain candies for Christmas or Easter or even social get-togethers, Magee said.

Holidays, such as Valentine’s Day, Easter and Mother’s Day provide a boost to the business. Halloween is just around the corner, but Thanksgiving actually results in more sales. Christmas typically stretches into a month-long event, so it’s the most important holiday for Burst’s, Magee said.

While Magee likes talking with customers, his favorite part of the business is being in the kitchen and production line in Burst’s basement. “I like to get in here and make things,” said Magee, a Philomath graduate and who studied horticulture at Oregon State University and swam for the Beavers’ club team.

Of course, owning a candy store can have its drawbacks. Magee laughed that eats too much candy, and has a weakness for almond bark in particular. “The Beavers, those are really good, too,” he added.

Burst’s Candies is located at 353 S.W. Madison Ave. in downtown Corvallis. For more information about the business or its anniversary promotions, go to the business’ Facebook page, or call 541-753-2864.

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Kyle Odegard can be reached at, 541-812-6077 or via Twitter @KyleOdegard.


Business Reporter