Change of hands: After 73 years in Boise, Lee’s Candies has new owners


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One of Idaho’s oldest candy shops has been open since 1947 and continues to be the go-to sweet spot for many.

Located in the Vista Village Shopping Center, the shop is known for its handmade individual chocolates and candies as well as its gift boxes. You’ll also find a variety of gifts.

For the last 73 years, three generations of the Nokleby family have owned and operated the candy shop. Now, the family is passing the torch to a father-daughter duo.

History of Lee’s

When the original owner, Lee Nokleby, opened the first store on Jefferson Street, he made candy from his father LG’s recipes. The recipes were created when he traveled the country working as an apprentice confectioner.

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In 1987, Lee passed the business onto his son, Curtis Nokleby, who ran the shop between 1987 and 2020. 

Then, this year, Katie Fernandez and her father, Ken, purchased the business from the Nokleby family.

“I am passionate about the product we sell and the people we sell to. We have the best, happiest customers,” new owner Katie Fernandez said. “Because let’s face it, everyone is happy while they are buying candy.”

Classic recipes

Fernandez said there will be very few changes made to the Lee’s Candies recipes and store.

“The changes we make will be minor, and not to the product itself,” Fernandez said. “LG was fond of saying ‘never change your quality’ and we think that is a good principle to run the business by.”

All of the chocolates are made with Peter’s Chocolate – a Swiss chocolate company that’s been around since 1875.

“We will continue to use the same recipes and high-quality ingredients Curt used, and his father before him. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?” Fernandez said.

Lee’s Candies is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Anna Daly - BoiseDev Reporter
Anna Daly - BoiseDev Reporter
Anna Daly is a reporter for BoiseDev. She's an Emmy-winning journalist, and a professor at the College of Western Idaho. Contact her at [email protected].

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