Dorothy Gastel, founder of Dorothy's Candies

Our Story: The History of Dorothy's Candies

Dear Chocolate Lovers:

If you love fine chocolates with old-fashioned goodness, you have come to the right place – Dorothy’s Candies. I (Robert) have enjoyed making and eating chocolates since I was just a tyke in the kitchen of my grandmother, Mae Gillespie. She and my mother, Dorothy, concocted yummy confections in Mae’s home in the West End of Pittsburgh, then a working-class neighborhood overlooking Pittsburgh’s legendary steel mills. Mae got Dorothy involved when the two sold their confections door-to-door during the Great Depression. At about the same time, my wife Marti's cousin, Andy Warhol, was also going home to home with his Mom, selling traditional Ukranian-style, hand-painted Easter eggs in Pittsburgh's Oakland section.

Later my mother Dorothy opened a tiny shop in the basement of our home in McKeesport, just up the Monongahela River. People were constantly clamoring for her gifts of homemade chocolates, and Dorothy thought selling them would be a nifty way to save up for my college fund.

It was this tiny basement shop that has become Dorothy’s Candies. Many people from this area also remember the small shop she later opened on Versailles Avenue in McKeesport. 

Today, we sell our chocolates all across the United States and beyond -- more than ten tons of boxed-chocolates each year. Though our facilities are larger today than Dorothy’s cramped basement, our commitment to artisan processes remains unchanged. We still use all the secret recipes which Dorothy developed over the years, both for dipping chocolates and for creating delectable fillings.  True to Dorothy's vision, we still use only the finest ingredients available on the market today, from fresh, crunchy nuts, to rich, creamery butter. All of our chocolates begin with Dorothy's unique Swiss chocolate.

We hope that you will enjoy Dorothy's Candies with your family! 

Sincerely,

Robert and Marti Gastel


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