As Osage Beach prepares for its 50th anniversary, one of the area’s “sweetest” attractions will join it on that birthday. Ozark Made Candy Kitchen, now known as Blair and Company Candy Confectionery, opened its Osage Beach location in 1959, but founding co-owner Blair said the original store opened in Camdenton in 1952. She said the store was the idea of her husband, Les, who wanted a job that would allow him to be able to spend more time with his family.


Jennifer Hollis
jennifer.hollis@lakemediaonline.com


As Osage Beach prepares for its 50th anniversary, one of the area’s “sweetest” attractions will join it on that birthday.


Ozark Made Candy Kitchen, now known as Blair and Company Candy Confectionery, opened its Osage Beach location in 1959, but founding co-owner Blair said the original store opened in Camdenton in 1952. She said the store was the idea of her husband, Les, who wanted a job that would allow him to be able to spend more time with his family.


“He decided on to stay home, and so he had an acquaintance who owned a candy kitchen, so he thought that would be a good idea,” Geanie Blair said.


After moving to Osage Beach in 1959, the Blairs opened their new location, and eventually started adding on, making what many longtime residents remember as Poverty Flats. Geanie Blair never really considered herself a connoisseur of candy.


“I don’t know if I could call myself a connoisseur, but I know good candy when I taste it,” she said.”(Osage Beach) sure was a different place. I can’t recall any businesses past Linn Creek.”
Geanie Blair said the name came from the many people telling her and Les that opening in a desolate city was a bad move. That inspired the name Poverty Flats.


“It really was questionable to move there,” she said. “My husband had a weird sense of humor.”
Blair and Company Candy Confectionery has truly remained a family effort.


Les and Geanie Blair continued running the store until his death and her retirement in 2000, when the couple’s son, Alan, took over owning the business.


In 2007, the third generation of the family, Alan Blair’s daughter, Jennifer Dowdney, came on to manage the store after being back at the lake area for four years.


“(My husband and I) just decided it was too hard not to be around  family,” Dowdney said.
Having grown up herself with the store, Dowdney knows how the store’s life-span has affected multiple generations.


“I used to get off the bus at the store, and so did my dad,” she said.
Ironically, Dowdney’s answer to being a candy connoisseur was almost identical to her grandmother’s.


“I don’t know if I would consider myself that because we’re so simple,” Dowdney said. “But I know good candy.”


As the summer gears up, Downdey said she’s hoping for another good year, and she said it looks like things  have already started that way.


“The economy is not hurting us right now,” she said. “People are staying home and having ‘stay-cations.’”