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In Memory

Farewell to the Candy Man. Shop founder John Snook made Folsom a much sweeter place


John Snook was a husband for 63 years, a father of six and a successful businessman. His main legacy, though, is that he made Folsom a sweeter place. The charismatic founder of Snooks Candies & Chocolate Factory died peacefully, surrounded by his family, at 90 years old on June 21. If ever there was a business built for Historic Folsom, it was Snooks. The confectionery at 731 Sutter St. feels like it’s from a different era, serving house made items such as caramels, truffles and peanut brittle along with Gunther’s Ice Cream and fruit freezes, a far cry from kitschier competitors in Old Sacramento. The Folsom Gold milk chocolate bar is a store-specific highlight, perfectly sized for s’mores and stamped with Snooks’ swooping logo. It’s the sign of a beloved brand, one that’s endured for 60 years thanks to Folsom’s community support.

Folsom Gold milk chocolate bars are a highlight of Snooks Candies & Chocolate Factory in Folsom.

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Born in Three Rivers, Michigan, John Snook was stationed at Mather Air Force Base when he met a Sacramento girl named Jeannine. The two married in 1954 and opened their first candy shop, Country Candies, in 1963 in what was then the Arden Fair Food Circus.

All six of John and Jeanine’s children were given names starting with “J,” and all worked at the candy shop (along with some of his 11 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren), which became Snooks Candies in 1980. The family opened a Tahoe City store in 1981 and moved the original Snooks to Historic Folsom in 1985. John and Jeanine sold their stake in Snooks to their son Jim and daughter-in-law Renee in 1999, but the original “Candy Man” was a consistent presence around the store., chatting with customers outside or running errands as needed. “John was a man who loved life and never stopped enjoying it,” his family wrote in his obituary.