I was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania to Raymond and Violet Perry. Although our family moved to Illinois, I spent many of my childhood summers with my Grandma Yeager in Elton, Pennsylvania. Being of Pennsylvania Dutch and Amish heritage, I learned at a very early age how special homemade treats were. I loved to sit in Grandma's kitchen, watch her make homemade Snickerdoodles, and be entertained by her stories of horse and buggy deliveries in "the good old days".

Times were difficult during my childhood and my parents worked extra hard, not only to put food on the table and a roof over our heads, but to give us five kids some of the things they thought children should have. Dad worked long hours and Mom baked and decorated cakes at home to earn extra income. I was in grade school when she taught me how to pipe roses and make wedding bells from sugar. I also helped deliver the beautiful wedding cakes she baked, all the time pretending we were back in "the good old days" using a horse and buggy instead of a car.

Once a month, Mom and I would make a pot of fudge while the boys played in the front room. When the aroma of the cooking fudge wafted past their noses, they'd scramble to the kitchen and beg us to let them lick out the fudge pot!

My fondest memories are of the beautiful vanilla, chocolate, peanut butter, and coconut filled Easter eggs that were nestled in our baskets on Easter morning. Each egg was exquisitely decorated with a colorful flower and our name was elegantly written under it. My favorite was the peanut butter egg! Later on I learned that it was my mom, and not the Easter Bunny, who had stayed up many long nights to make them! When Mom taught me how to make those luscious, chocolate Easter eggs we loved so well, I realized I wanted my very own chocolate shop!

While dating my soul mate, Bob, I learned that he also loved chocolate. He remembers as a toddler riding in the shopping cart at the grocery store with his mom, he would, very discreetly, eat all the chocolate morsels his mom was purchasing to make chocolate chip cookies. She got to the checkout, and all that was left was an empty bag! He also had what he calls "the best part-time job ever," during his high school years, working in a chocolate and ice cream shop!

I began "fine-tuning" my chocolate-making skills when I was our kids' grade school room mother. In addition to chocolate cupcakes and cookies for their class parties and functions, I made chocolate-covered pretzel rods and chocolate mascot pops for their sports teams to sell at the games. Before the first sports season was over, I was making and selling team pops for other schools in the area. When I went back to college, I made and sold assorted chocolates at local craft shows and businesses to cover the cost of my tuition and books.

Bob owned his own business, and we thanked his clients by treating them to my homemade chocolate assortments. Before long his customers began to ask if they could order my delicious chocolates. There were so many inquiries that Bob transformed our basement into a small chocolate factory and I began taking orders over the phone. Although city codes limited my sales to deliveries and shipping only, we were licensed and Jan's Homemade Candies was born!

After our children were grown, we traded the cold Chicago winters for the warmth of sunny South Florida. But before long, I began to miss my little basement chocolate factory, so we started making chocolates in our condo. Friends and relatives encouraged us to open our own shop, so Bob and I drove from mall to mall looking for a storefront to rent. After months of searching the malls around Fort Lauderdale, we still hadn't found a suitable location. We were about to give up, but after much prayer, asking the Lord for guidance, He led us to a vacant storefront in a little strip mall just a block from the beach. My dream of having my very own chocolate shop was finally becoming a reality!

Five months of hard work later, on March 16, 2001, with mom present and beaming from ear to ear, we greeted our first customers to Jan's Homemade Candies Inc., at 4327 North Ocean Drive in Lauderdale by the Sea, Florida 33308.

Bob and I continue to share my dream, and our love for homemade chocolates with the world. We have been honored to receive the "Best of Fort Lauderdale" award for the past five years (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. 2014), and we were featured on the Food Network’s "Food Finds, Hot and Spicy" episode.  On July 22, 2013, Grandparents magazine (Grandparents.com) listed us in the "10 Best Candy Shops in America", naming us as the Best Homemade Chocolate in America.  We were  featured in the October, 2013, edition of "Candy Industry Magazine".   We were also featured as one of ten "Sweet Stops Across America" in the July, 2014, special edition of "all-american cooking's Brownies, Cookies, Bars, and More"
magazine.  We were very excited to be named ONE OF THE TOP TEN CHOCOLATE SHOPS IN AMERICA in the Jan-Feb 2015 issue of "Cooking with Paula Deen"   On July 7, 2022, Yelp chose the Best Chocolates in Every State and Canada, and Jan's Homemade Candies was chosen the BEST CHOCOLATE IN FLORIDA!

Today we offer the same kind of "homemade goodness" that Mom and I made so many years ago. Our chocolates and many varieties of fudge are made fresh daily with the finest ingredients. You can have our homemade chocolates sent directly to you or your loved ones wherever they are. Receiving chocolates from Jan's Homemade Candies is like getting a care package from home! Our name says it all, Jan’s Homemade Candies!

If you happen to be in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida area, you’re always welcome to stop in for a free sample. And who knows, you may even get a chance to lick the fudge pot!


Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. 
  IPeter 4:10