Delco Profile: Randy Bevan of Bevan’s Own Make Candy

There are a lot of family-owned and -operated stories in Delco, but this one, in particular, pulls the heartstrings. When Randy Bevan was 19 his dad passed away, so he dropped out of college to help his mom run the family business. A year later she passed, and, at 20, he became Bevan’s Own Make Candy’s full-time owner and operator.

The early years

It’s a tale that started in 1959 when his grandfather, Marty Bevan, took his candy-making prowess from the basement of his home to a storefront. Randy’s grandmother, Charlotte, was by his grandfather’s side.

“They started the business, officially, on their 14th wedding anniversary: Nov. 7, 1959,” Randy said. “My grandfather was a salesman for a nut company and worked with a lot of candy makers. He got interested, took a candy-making class at the University of Delaware, and in 1954 started making candy at night. The rest is history.”

Randy Bevan’s parents and grandparents

Before long, Randy’s dad, Marty Jr., (known as Skip to customers and friends) and his mom, Barb, also became involved in the business. Ironically, Skip was allergic to chocolate and his mom had type 1 diabetes, so neither could really enjoy the fruits of their labors. Still, crafting fresh, quality candy for their customers was reward enough.

Randy Bevan

Randy’s “start” in the business goes back a bit further than age 19. His family lived over the original store, so he recalls being there when he was roughly 5. His tasks included sweeping, folding boxes and saying hello to customers. Once he took over, like his grandfather, Randy upgraded his hands-on experience with candy-making education at Retail Confectioners International in Erie.

“We make a huge variety of chocolates and candies, but I’d say we specialize in five things; I call them my five food groups: Chocolate-covered pretzels, vanilla butter creams, caramels, sea salt caramels and nonpareils,” Randy explained. (Fun fact: He’s using the same quality equipment and molds that have been at Bevan’s for more than a half century.)

“Irish Potatoes” at Bevan’s

Bevan’s Own Make Candy celebrated 60 years in November 2019, with throwback pricing and lines out the door. Randy says he heard many stories of how Bevan’s has been a part of generations of families, and met one 70-year-old gentleman who first tasted Bevan’s candies when he was 10.

“I’ll meet people around the area, and when they ask what I do, I tell them ‘I have a little candy store.’ When I tell them which one, they often say ‘Bevan’s! Who doesn’t know about that place!’” It’s humbling,” Randy added.

Nonpareils at Bevan’s

Meeting the customers, old and new, who come into the store is one of Randy’s favorite things. He notes that around every holiday customers will tell him they’ll be “in trouble” if they don’t show up at family events with Bevan’s, especially those who remember getting custom Easter eggs, stocking stuffers and other special occasion treats every year.

“I love it still, love carrying on the family name,” Randy said. “Many of our employees have worked here forever, too. Even my Aunt Dot (Atz) still comes in and hand-makes our clusters old-school style. The hardest part about being a business owner is finding good people, and I’ve been lucky. Hey — I’m just the guy that’s keeping it going.”

Randy Bevan’s family today

Although there is a wide assortment of confections to choose from, Randy’s favorite things to make are caramels; he says they’re fun to create and they make the entire place smell great. He doesn’t make candy at home and, according to his kids Charlie, 11, and Stella, 7, he never brings enough “leftovers” home to them. He also confirmed he doesn’t like to cook at home, but is more than willing to do the dishes for his wife, Amy. In his precious spare time, Randy “loves spending time with my family, playing tennis and skiing.”

Taste some of Delco’s best candy and meet a family that’s a Delco original at Bevan’s Own Make Candy, 143 E. Baltimore Pike in Media; (610) 566-0581. Check for seasonal hours before you head out.

Want to know more about everything Delco? We’re more than just your source for good eats — we’re your source for where to stay, what to do and more in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. We’re Visit Delco, PA, and we’ve got you covered from Philly to the Brandywine. Find us at 1501 N. Providence Rd., Media, PA, 19063; (610) 565-3679 or online.

Nina Malone

All photos courtesy of Bevan’s Own Make Candy