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Boehm’s Candies: Everything you need to know

If you’re visiting Issaquah, Washington, you need to stop into Boehm’s Candies. Your sweet tooth will thank you.

For more help planning your trip to the PNW, check out all of our posts about Washington.

An alpine chalet with the words "Boehm's Candies Everything You Need To Know"  digitally written above it.

If you’ve been around Drugstore Divas for a while, you know that I love chocolate. I will eat it, in some form, every day (with the exception of when I give it up for Lent). So, when I was planning my trip to Issaquah and I found out about an over 60-year-old chocolate shop in town, I had to go.

​If you’re planning a trip to the Pacific Northwest and passing through Issaquah, you should go too.

Four scenes from Issaquah, Washington.

There’s more to Issaquah than just a chocolate factory. To find out what else to check out when you’re in town, read our Things To Do In Issaquah, WA post.

There’s also a really cool zoo — with wallabies (!) and reindeer (!!) — in Issaquah, so be sure to add the Cougar Mountain Zoo to your list.

Boehm’s Candies: Everything you need to know

Affiliate links are included in this post and Drugstore Divas may make a small commission if you use them.

Boehm’s Candies is the namesake of Julius Boehm — who has a very interesting biography.

Julius was born in Vienna in 1897 and raised by his an Austrian piano maker father and a Swiss concert pianist stepmother. His parents’ houseguests included Italian opera composer Giacomo Puccini and conductor Arturo Toscanini (who, fun fact, has the same wedding anniversary as me and Pete … just 117 years earlier than us).

You would think Julius would follow in his parents’ footsteps and pursue music. But you’re reading about his chocolate shop, so you know that’s not the case.

He did apprentice his father in the piano-making business, but he also visited his grandfather in Switzerland where he learned to make confections and to ski. (Actually, I’m not 100% sure if he learned to ski there or home in Austria, but it’s a better transition for my sentence if he learned both there. Anyway … ), Julius learned to make candies and to ski; both things would become very important to his future.

When he was around 40, he skied from his home in Austria, over the Silvretta Mountains, to Switzerland to escape being drafted into the German Army.

He went from Switzerland to Spain to Seattle (with a stint in New York between those last two). He opened his first United States-based chocolate shop in Seattle with his friend George Tedlock. Julius used the knowledge he learned from his grandfather to make the chocolates, tweaking it with help from candymaker Cecil Hall to appeal to Americans.

While there, someone mentioned Issaquah had scenery similar to Switzerland, which (if you’ve ever been to Seattle, you’ll know) the Emerald City doesn’t have. So Julius and George packed up and moved the 17-ish miles to Issaquah.

A St. Florian statue at Boehm's Candies in Issaquah, Washington.

The shop in Issaquah was designed as an Edelweiss chalet, the first Alpine chalet in the Northwest, complete with a gorgeous sculpture of St. Florian, pouring an (empty) bucket of water onto a replica of the chalet.

Walking onto the property feels like walking into a Disney-fied Switzerland, in the fact that it feels a little out of place and a little bit like it was dropped there for novelty. Of course, it is made as Julius intended, but it feels like it would be better near Leavenworth, a Bavarian-styled village in the Cascade Mountain, about two hours East of Issaquah, that really leans into its German theme.

Then again, maybe Julius wouldn’t like that.

The buildings on the property of Boehm's Candies in Issaquah, Washington.

Anyway. The Issaquah property has a retail shop, the candy kitchen (where the treats are made), and the High Alpine Chapel, a Swiss chapel that is dedicated to  mountaineers who lost their lives in the mountains.

Julius, unfortunately, lost his in 1981 to a battle with cancer, a few years after he became the oldest person to traverse the 14,000-plus-foot Mount Rainier.

A white chapel with a large Jesus and cross statue to the left at Boehm's Candies in Issaquah, Washington.

The shop has since been at the hands of Bernard Garbusjuk, a German-native who met Julius is Seattle and began working at the Issaquah shop 10 years before Julius’ passing.

Fun fact: Bernard married his wife Hee Jeong Park, at the chapel on the Boehm’s grounds.

Molded chocolates on display at Boehm's Candies in Issaquah, Washington.

Boehm’s Candies & Chocolates

If you’re looking for chocolate, I hope you don’t get easily overwhelmed. There’s so much to choose from at Boehm’s.

The (current) signature chocolate is the Encores, a melt-away chocolate filled with mint, raspberry, almond, or mocha. The mocha is so good with a hint of coffee flavor floating in dark chocolate.

The orange chocolate is delicious with a rich orange flavor (that’s so much better than that orange-shaped chocolate ball you’re thinking of). There’s also arancini, which I always knew as an Italian rice ball, but this is Italian candied orange peel in chocolate.

A bag of malt balls in Boehm's Chocolate in Issaquah, Washington.

There’s chocolate you can buy by the pound, like caramels and hand-dipped chocolate truffles, and packaged treats, like malt balls, nonpareils, and chocolate bars emblazoned with Washington icons.

You can actually order them at the Boehm’s website for delivery, if you’re not heading to the area for a while and need your fix. You can also order for curbside pickup, if you’re in the area.

If you’re out of town, you can find the full product line at Boehm’s Chocolates of Poulsbo and Yakima Beads, Rocks & Candy Emporium in Yakima, WA, and select products in the Snoqualmie Casino and at Chocolate & Ice Cream Delight in Pikes Place Market in Seattle.

Chocolates on trays at Boehm's Candies in Issaquah, Washington.

Boehm’s Candies Tours

If you’re around, you can give yourself a free, self-guided window tour of the candy kitchen by looking through various windows to see the staff actually making chocolate (which yes, feels as awkward as that sentence sounds).

​You can look through the windows during retails hours, although, of course, you’ll only be able to see the workers during production times.

There’s information at each window that tells you what you’re looking at, so you can learn a bit about the process.

Inside Boehm's Candies in Issaquah, Washintgon's candy factory.

If you want a little more hand holding (and a little less of a voyeuristic feeling), guided tours are available by reservation only. On that paid tour, you’ll see the chocolate making process, the chalet where Julius Boehm lived, and the chapel, if it’s not being used for service or a wedding.

And, if you plan it right, you can actually join a chocolate making class, where you’ll make your own mold, chocolate bar, and more. Plus, you’ll take home over a pound of chocolate, which is worth the price of admission. You’ll also get a tour of Julius Boehm’ chalet while you’re waiting for your chocolate to dry.

If you can’t make a tour, the children’s show Blippi visited Boehm’s in August 2018. You can see the episode, which shows the candy making process and the shop’s fish-shaped ice cream cone, on YouTube.

A Boehm's Candies Christmas ornament.

Boehm’s Candies: Frequently Asked Questions


255 NE Gilman Blvd; Issaquah, WA




Monday through Saturday: 9 am to 6 pm
Sunday: 10 am to 6 pm

When did Boehm’s Candies open?

The original candy kitchen opened in Seattle in 1942 and moved to Issaquah in 1956.

The inside of Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate in Eureka, CA.

More Chocolate Shop Reviews:

If you’re doing a tour of chocolate shops on the West Coast, don’t forget to check out Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate Factory & Tasting Room in Eureka, California.

Have you been to Boehm’s Candies? Let us know about your experience in the comments.


Sunday 4th of February 2024

Actually…Julius’ chalet predates the remake of Leavenworth into a “Bavarian/Swiss/Tyrolean,etc.” village. Suspect his chalet may have factored in as inspiration when the town was brainstorming how to reinvent itself…undoubtedly folks driving back and forth across the pass would have taken note of it. Also…Julius’ first experience of America was in a small town in Massachusetts, not New York, where he was welcomed with a small group of early refugees to a hostel run by a pastor there; he taught skiing to the town youth for a while. One last minor thing…the concert pianist was Julius’ stepmother…his real mother died when he was 4.


Sunday 4th of February 2024

Thank you SO MUCH Mindi for all this extra information. I mentioned New York because I'm from there and like to add it in as often as I can. Do you know where in New York he had stopped? I tried to find the town's name, but I didn't. Thought you might know. But what a cool fact about his time in Massachusetts.

And, it makes sense that his chalet predates Leavenworth, but you have to admit, it feels like it would fit in there, don't you think? I love the idea that maybe his chalet inspired that entire town.

And, THANK YOU also for mentioned that was his stepmom, not his birth mom. I'll definitely edit the way my sentence reads to incorporate that.