It all began in 1979 when James Goolsby rented an 1876 general mercantile and dry goods building that had housed on Walnut Street and put in a few antiques for sale. Jefferson was just becoming an antique tourist destination and a few bed and breakfasts were beginning to open. He named it “The Old Store”.Over the next few years as James went on buying trips all over the United States in other antebellum tourist destinations, he began thinking about adding fudge and candy to the store. It seemed a bit odd to group antiques and candy, but in the early years of our country, people shopped for everything in a general mercantile and dry goods store. And, with Jefferson being the 5th oldest city in Texas and, during the 1800’s, a large inland port where steamships loaded and unloaded before heading downriver to New Orleans, why not?? He grew up working in his family’s grocery store in Carthage, TX, and thought that he could make his store have the appeal of candy and treats for people to snack on while they strolled in his shop and the other shops in Jefferson. In 1988, he rented the adjoining building and developed an additional 2500 square feet to accommodate fudge, soft drinks, gourmet chocolates, gifts and souvenirs. Over the years, the fudge and gourmet chocolate counters have expanded to approximately 30 feet in length. A food line of jams, preserves and jellies were added in the next few years. Then, soup mixes, spices, syrup, pancake mixes, pickled vegetables, hot cocoa mixes, kitchen items and toys finished out that new 2500 square foot area.
Today, as you enter the store, you walk down a fudge counter with at least 20 different flavors. Our staff will offer you a “taste” of any of the fudge flavors on the counter. Nostalgic hard candy is on the opposite side of the fudge counter: remember Necos, Cow Tails, Bit O Honey, Sugar Daddy’s, wax lips, and Clark Bars? We have those and many more! As you pass that area, you will see 15 feet of gourmet chocolates: truffles, pecan, almond, cashew, and peanut turtles, almond bark, coconut haystacks, and peanut butter crowns are among the 60 varieties of gourmet chocolates. And for those who must limit sugar, there are six varieties of sugar free fudge and about 25 types of gourmet, sugar free chocolates.
For the folks who love nuts, try a bag of our cinnamon/sugar glazed pecans, cashews or almonds.
We have two varieties of pralines: the creamy “New Orleans Style” and chewy caramel.
You may sample to your hearts delight on our jellies, jams, and preserves in the jelly bar. They are 92% fruit with no preservatives. And, yes, we have an entire line of “no sugar added” jams and preserves for those that have to monitor sugar intake. These are sweetened with pear nectar.
We have our own line of salsas, chow-chows, and relishes. Check out our on-line store for these products.
The store has many of the Watkins products. If you don’t see what you want in our on-line store, call us on the toll free number.
In addition to the items listed for purchase on-line, we have a large line of cookie cutters, kitchen gadgets, teas, coffees, spices, BBQ sauces and marinades. We stock toys by Melissa and Doug and Schilling, children’s tea sets, Jefferson souvenirs, cookbooks, and many gift items.
During the holidays, we “dress-up” our packaging. We have variety baskets of fudge, pralines, nuts, and other items.
In planning your next weekend get-a-way, consider visiting Jefferson and The Old Store and Fudge Shoppe!! We will look forward to you shopping with us.