Sweet Darlings was first established in 1997 by Hugh and Iris Darling. Hugh’s great grandfather was T.W. Hawkins – cofounder of Brown and Hawkins. When Hugh’s mother, Virginia, started to age and needed assistance, Hugh and Iris moved to Seward to help out. They assisted with her in being landlords to the Brown and Hawkins building.
Hugh had always had a sweet tooth and couldn’t help himself by indulging in the finest of chocolates and sweets.
That’s when him and Iris had decided to establish Sweet Darlings. This way, Hugh could eat as much candy as he wanted! Hugh took many seminars, workshops, and travelled to some of the best candy companies in the world to fine tune his craft.
At the end of 1997, Hugh and Iris had their first season finished, and were looking in ways to better the business. To their blessing, a man in his early 30s came through the door with an application in hand. Hugh clicked very well with this gentleman and they hired him on the spot. Now looking back, if to ask Hugh, this hire would be one of the most crucial points to the success of Sweet Darlings.
This man’s name is Bruce. Bruce learned under Hugh for a few months and caught on very quickly. He fine tuned Hugh’s recipes to make them better. 95% of the recipes that we use today at Sweet Darlings are the same recipes that Bruce developed.
Fast forward to 2019. Hugh and Iris are in their 80s and want to retire. Bruce ended up moving to the Midwest with his wife to be closer to her family. Sweet Darlings was in midst of closing its doors for good. Until, a previous employee decided to step up and buy the store from the Darlings.
A.J. Seese and his wife, Pam Seese are the current owners of Sweet Darlings. A.J. started working on and off at Sweet Darlings since he was 13 years old. His grandmother, Sharyl Seese, had been good friends with Iris and Hugh since before Sweet Darlings was established. So, the transition to the Seese family was pretty seamless.
Pam and A.J. have brought a new breath of fresh air to Sweet Darlings, and are determined to build off of the already solid legacy that Sweet Darlings has. Their goal is to always search for the best ingredients and to discover new sweet that Sweet Darlings guests’ will enjoy.