It’s the kind of wild-west story that seems too Texan to be true: Entrepreneur loses factory in a poker game, but it’s rescued by a white knight – his own son – who rides in to repay the gambling debt and take over the business.
But that’s the real, true story of the legendary Texas candy company, Lammes Candies.
You probably know Lammes for its two most famous candies: Texas Chewies, a buttery pecan praline, and Texas Longhorns, a praline covered in rich chocolate. Both those candies, and lots of other chocolates, candies and taffies, are still made in Austin in the company’s candy kitchen, now run by the fifth generation of the founding family.
It’s a Texas success story that almost didn’t happen.
Lammes was originally founded in 1878 as the Red Front Candy Factory in Austin. But in 1885, founder William Wirt Lamme lost the place in a poker game. His son, David Turner Lamme, Sr., paid back the $800 loss, and the business was re-launched as Lammes Candies.
The chewies came along a few years later, made from a simple recipe developed by David Lamme and using only butter, sugar, corn syrup, salt and pecans.
That same family-secret recipe is still used today. Why mess with a good thing? And, just like in the old days, the company still uses only the best pecans, grown only in Texas, to create their signature sweet. Obviously, they have lost their taste for gambling.