MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — George Widman of Widman Candy Shop has been the confection king in Crookston for nearly 40 years.

With every Best of Minnesota story, we like the winners to acknowledge being voted “the best” on camera.

But being typical Minnesotans, boasting proved to be difficult.

“I don’t like to toot my own horn,” George said. “I don’t like being called the best.”

The Widman family represents four generations of candy makers. George H. Widman opened the Crookston store in 1911. And not much has changed since his grandson George took over.

“Everything in here works. So when I came here 37 years ago, you don’t change anything. You just keep doing it the way it was done,” George said.

Widman Candy Shop is perhaps best known in the Midwest for their “Chippers” — which are chocolate-covered potato chips.

Nowadays, a mom-and-pop candy store is a rarity, because working with chocolate is a labor of love.

“It’s hard work. We are making things from scratch, one-by-one. It takes time,” he said.

George and his wife, Lois, have help boxing and manning the counter, but that’s it.

“I’m 68 years old, but my feet are about 125 years old,” George said.

You don’t become the best of anything by chance.

“When it comes to the candy making, it’s just the two of us,” George said.

But the sweetest thing in this candy shop isn’t for sale in the candy case.

“We’ll hang here until my business partner says she wants to retire,” George said.

Because according to George, his beloved wife Lois is the reason they’re the best.

“Well, you gotta have a good wife,” he said.

Those Widmans are good, humble Minnesotans.

Widman Candy Shop also has two North Dakota locations in Grand Forks and Fargo. They are all owned by Widman family members.

They are open seven days a week year round, except for Memorial Day and Christmas — and George and Lois are there every day.

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