The Story of Mike Libs and the Chocolate Factory
Mike Libs & The Chocolate Factory is the next generation of a family heritage. Mike is the son of candy maker John Libs and nephew of John’s brother Bob.
Libs Candies, Inc. was the brainchild of Bob & John Libs back in 1950. After WWII, Bob, a veteran, moved to California to live with a third brother, Louie. He began working for a small, local candy store in Eureka. Soon, Bob learned the business of candymaking. He entertained the idea of starting his own business…maybe a candy shop of his own. Coincidentally, brother John, half a continent away, entertained a similar notion. John’s background was in management in the mega supermarket chain, A & P. So he was thinking of starting a corner grocery…or something!
John, his wife Loraine, and family decided to visit Bob & Louie in Eureka in the summer of 1950.
Bob and John began discussing the idea of starting that candy shop in Evansville, Indiana. And that’s what they did. Bob proceeded to teach John the art of candy making. The Brothers decided to open their new candy shop on Thanksgiving Day, 1950, in downtown Evansville. The annual Christmas Parade was scheduled for that day, so they were assured of doing business. That first day they took in almost $50.00 in sales and congratulated each other on launching a successful venture! Little did they know how successful they would be.
In their lifetime, they witnessed their ‘Lil ‘ol Candy Shop on Main Street become an Evansville icon. At one time, they owned three shops and supplied 75 resellers.
Their business closed in 2002 under the tutelage of brothers Johnny & Mike Libs. Johnny retired. Mike chose to start a new candy business with furniture retailer and friend, Pat Coslett. Coslett had enough room in his store to give Libs an area for production. Mike set up shop smack dab in the middle of the furniture store.
“Wanna buy a sofa? How ’bout a box of chocolates to go with that?” Mike Libs & The Chocolate Factory was born.
After three years of doing business in the furniture store, Mike relocated his “li’l ‘ol candy shop” to Green River Road on Evansville’s east side in front of Lawndale shopping center. And that’s where he is today.