Confectioneries once a thriving business in Sedalia

Rhonda Chalfant - Contibuting Columnist

Rhonda Chalfant

Contibuting Columnist

The 1904 Sedalia City Directory identifies one candy manufacturer, the Sedalia Candy Co. at 101 E. Main St. It also identifies 10 confectioneries. Generally, the word “confectionery” referred to a shop that was combination of a soda fountain, a bakery specializing in desserts, and a candy maker. Some of Sedalia’s confectioneries fit this description; some did not.

One of Sedalia’s confectioneries was a woman, Mrs. A. L. Amos of 530 E. Fifth St. She probably worked out of her home, earning money by making and selling candies, cookies and cakes.

Two of the confectioneries were located in East Sedalia near the intersection of Third Street and Engineer Avenue where a small business district had developed. One, J. D. Draper, was located at 1106 E. Third St.; the other, M. F. McDonald, was located at 1102 E. Third St.

The remaining confectioneries were located downtown on South Ohio Avenue. These included C. N. Broyles at 109 S. Ohio, Albert Avansino at 224 S. Ohio, the Boston Café at 313 S. Ohio, the Candy Palace at 501 S. Ohio, H. W. Servant at 514 S. Ohio, Robertson and Eakin at 523 S. Ohio, and N. M. Palmer at 712 S. Ohio.

One of the confectioneries, the Candy Palace, advertised in the City Directory. The ads, placed along the right sides of several pages, identify the owner/manager as William Santhuly. The Candy Palace could be reached by telephone on both of Sedalia’s exchanges — Queen City 218 and Bell 288. The Candy Palace had a soda fountain. It also advertised “fine home made candies.”

The largest of the confectioneries was the Boston Café. It also had telephones on both exchanges; the numbers were Queen City 82 and Bell 82. The Boston Café’s owner Charles Walch had opened his store in 1895. The classified section of the 1898-99 City Directory listed the Boston Café three times — as a bakery, a confectionery, and a restaurant.

A photograph of the Boston Café taken in 1900 and reprinted in Becky Carr Imhauser’s “All Around Downtown,” shows a long building with gas and electric lights, a ceiling fan, display cases and shelves lining the sides, and display cases the center. Pasteries, jelly Rolland fancy baked were displayed in one case. Jars of jam and jelly sat on shelves above the case. A sign in the back advertised “Fancy Ice Cream.”

An arch at the rear of the room opened, according to Walch’s daughter Camilla Walch Knox, into the dining room. In an interview with Imhauser, Knox identified her family’s table at the southeast corner of the dining room.

Walch and an assistant made candy in the rear of the building. They specialized in chocolates and the assistant, according to Knox, dipped chocolates all day. Walch’s baker Chris Streng made lady fingers, cream puffs, and macaroons. Sedalia’s society ladies, such as Lillian Heard, served these desserts at the teas and parties they hosted.

Walch sold the Boston Café to Will Almquist in 1904. Streng moved to a new location and continued to operate his bakery. Next week’s column details Streng’s building and its occupants.

Rhonda Chalfant is the president of the Pettis County chapter of NAACP and the Pettis County Historical Society.

Sedalia Democrat

Rhonda Chalfant is the president of the Pettis County chapter of NAACP and the Pettis County Historical Society.

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