Opened in 1974 and bought by the Atkinson family in 1986, The Candy Factory in Columbia, Missouri, is now run by second-generation owner Mike Atkinson and his wife, Amy. Stamped with the family’s signature sweetness, every treat in the shop is either made or packaged in-house. Let yourself splurge on the selection of chocolate-covered goodies – from strawberries and cookies to peanuts, pretzels and potato chips – or satisfy your sweet tooth with sea-salt caramels made with The Candy Factory’s secret caramel recipe.

The flavored popcorn – available in chocolate, caramel, birthday cake and cinnamon from the week of Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve – is also addictive, and the flavors of housemade fudge often reflect the season – maple-walnut or REESE’S Pieces, anyone?

Devoted to the upkeep of the historic treasure almost as much as the preservation of his family’s recipes, Atkinson has created a delightful experience that sends customers, young and old, home happy.

The Candy Factory, 701 Cherry St., Columbia, Missouri, 573.443.8222,