A century of fine, handcrafted sweets

If life is like a box of chocolates, then head to Schurra’s Fine Confections for some of the best sweets life has to offer. Located on the historic Alameda since 1912, Schurra’s (pronounced sure-ays) is a San Jose confectionery landmark. The family behind this sweet shop were brothers Albert and Justin Schurra. The Schurras started their confectionery business with retail stores in Stockton and Modesto, moving to San Jose when the older brother secured a factory job with Ford in Fremont: one brother made the chocolate, the other made cars. After 30 years they sold the store to a Mr. Smith, who owned it for eight years, until selling it in 1946 to the Viehweger family, who took over for 37 years. Finally, the Viehweger family passed on the recipes and techniques of the Schurra brothers to Bill Mundy, who took over in 1983. Today, Mr. Mundy’s son, Brian, and his wife, Michelle, run the confectionery, upholding the tradition that San Jose has known and loved for generations.

The moment the doors open, customers are greeted with the intoxicating aroma of sugar and chocolate. Almost all chocolates and candies are made in the back of the shop, with the exception of certain gummies that require different equipment. The glass counter in the front is the first thing to see, a display case of the most tempting chocolate truffles anyone could dream of. The best sellers are the dark chocolate sea salt truffles and the freshly made caramels. “I know it’s popular to ‘source’ your chocolate, but we’ve always just bought locally as much as possible,” says Brian Mundy. Even the dried fruit is from local growers. “We have a long relationship with local growers and producers in California,” Mundy says, “which we continue to this day.”

As the holiday season approaches, Schurra’s gears up for the growing demand of seasonal favorites. The caramel apples, hand-dipped in Schurra’s signature caramel, are an old-fashioned delight. The marshmallows, featured in their best-selling rocky road, are made from scratch. With seven varieties rotated throughout the year, Schurra’s makes an old flavor excitingly new again. Look for molded chocolate pumpkins in the fall, and fresh peppermint bark in the winter. Whether it’s for a holiday gift, a birthday celebration, Valentine’s Day, or just a treat for yourself, Schurra’s upholds the traditions and flavors that are as delectable today as they were one hundred years ago.

Written by Michelle Runde
Photography by Stan Olszewski

Entire Article originally appeared in Issue 6.5 “Dine”

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