Lillie Mae Chocolates, Marshalltown
Born in Missouri, Aimee Deimerly-Snyder came to Marshalltown, Iowa at the age of five and grew up there. She would ride her back into town and have lunch and a piece of candy at Lillie Mae’s, which used to be a café as well as a candy store. Aimee also remembers that Lillie Mae chocolate was a particular favorite of her grandmother, who would not share the candy with anyone else.
As a teen, Aimee frequented a local pizza place as well as Lillie Mae’s and has fond memories of good times and good treats there. She went on to get an education in marketing and ran a website design business across the street. During her first pregnancy, Aimee got hooked on the homemade caramel apples, and, in 2003, she started working with Lillie Mae owners, Georgia & Buck Dates, who were looking for a buyer, but not just anyone. They wanted someone familiar with the business who would make it part of her own family.
Aimee has apprenticed with Georgia, a master candy maker and is still in training, especially when it comes to making certain holiday specialty candies. Georgia learned to make the chocolates from her mother, and still works in the shop on a regular basis, especially before major holidays. Creating hand-dipped chocolates involves tempering the chocolate and then swirling the soft centers, as well as putting on the final touch—the letter swirls that identify each kind of bonbon. Aimee and Georgia still use the old wooden candy trays, which date back to the first owners, to make the special confections for which Lillie Mae Chocolates is known.