September 05, 2011

Drew's Chocolates- Dexter, Iowa

Jeffrey and I decided to go to Omaha for part of the Labor Day weekend.  We left Friday after work, and stopped in Dexter to fill up the car's gas tank.  I spotted a sign that said, "Drew's Chocolates - 3 blocks", and it didn't take much persuading to get Jeffrey to agree to check out the place.  I was pretty sure it was going to be closed, but we were in luck- the shop had about 10 minutes left before their normal 5:30 closing time.

We went downstairs to a chocolate- lover's paradise.

There were chocolate creams, caramels, toffee krunches, a wide variety of nuts dipped in chocolate, peanut butter cups, and just about everything chocolate you could imagine.  The small shop was decked out in beautiful fall colors, and the gift boxes were nicer than any I've ever seen.

This machine tempers the chocolate.

We got to see the chocolate tempering machine at work.  It moves the glossy chocolate around almost as if it was a miniature chocolate river.  Then the owner showed us how to fork-dip a cashew nut.  The fork is an antique - they've been in business since 1927 - and it looks almost like a flattened out Easter egg dipper, but much sturdier.

We sampled some dark chocolate on the spot, and it was very, VERY good!  The thing that really caught my attention was their salted nut rolls.  I don't think I'll ever be able to enjoy a Pearson's Salted Nut Roll again after tasting the Drew's version!  It's like comparing a can of store-bought peaches to a fresh, fully ripe Colorado peach pulled fresh from the tree on a perfect sunny day. 

I also indulged my sweet tooth with a cute little clear container of pure caramel, which came with a tiny white spoon on top.  I had intended to save it for a day I really needed a pick-me-up, but I couldn't wait.  I ate it today!

Just a small part of the candy counter

We had hoped to stop back at Drew's on the way home and buy another little box of treats, but our timing was off.  It's definitely worth a drive out to Dexter, and one we'll be making again!

Drew's Chocolates is located at 426 State Street in Dexter.  State Street is the main drag in town.  We took I-80 exit 100 and followed the signs to Casey's, then went another 3 blocks to the shop.  If you're coming from the west, you can also take exit 97 for a more scenic drive through part of the town, which includes some well-kept gravel roads.  Just watch for the Drew's sign, it will take you right to the shop.

Store hours are Monday-Thursday 9AM to 5:30 PM, Friday-Saturday 9AM to 5 PM, and Sunday 12 noon to 4 PM.  We highly recommend this place!


  1. I forgot to mention, the raspberry cheesecake white chocolates are divine!


  2. My great-aunt and uncle started that shop, having brought the recipes from New Hampshire. The shop is no longer in the family, but they are using the same recipes, and we've been buying our Christmas chocolates from them as long as I can remember.

    1. Anonymous10:29 PM CDT

      Helen Drew was my second cousin. I grew up in SW Iowa. She was a grey-headed adult when I met her as an early teenager. She was the niece of my grandfather. Her adult children were already gone from home.

  3. I'm definitely placing an order, these are literally the best chocolates and candies I've ever had. I've been pining after the salted nut roll!

    Thanks for your comment!


  4. I have been getting Drew's chocolate since 1973. I met my husband and he was from Dexter. His parents, Betty & Fire would always bring us the candy whenever they came and visited us in Denver. Even our friends would wait for us to get it. (It was hard to share). They would also mail us chocolates when they weren't coming out or us coming home. Tom and I r divorced now but still love the chocolates. U haven't had any for 3-4 years now but I think its time to make a trip to Dexter. The best candy I've ever had. So glad they have not changed the recipes. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Yum..Yum..Yum.

  5. Anonymous10:15 PM CDT

    I've been going to Drew's since I was a kid. My great grandmother lived in Dexter so every time we would visit my parents would take us and was always the highlite of our visit. It's a tiny, quaint little spot full of smells that bring me right back to childhood. I live in TX now but just went back for a visit and of course mom and I went. It's almost better now that I'm older because my parents can't limit me to "just one"! :-)

  6. I was born and raised in Des Moines and back in the 50's our family used to visit relatives in dexter and stop in at drews. I'm now in Huntsville Alabama and every time I get back to iowa I always stop in a drews.
    And I have been doing that since I left Des Moines to enter the air force in 1972
    I have had friends rave about drews even some who live in des moines.

    Definitely worth the trip. Even when that trip is 1000+ miles.