Michiana Eats: Caruso's Candy & Soda Shop

Published: Feb. 25, 2020 at 12:17 PM EST
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In the heart of downtown Dowagiac sits a spot that's been around for nearly 100 years and is a tradition for many families.

Caruso’s Candy & Soda Shop opened its doors in 1922. When you walk inside today, you won't see many changes.

The tables and booths are all original, and so are the menus and the cash register.

“It’s our family, our history, our tradition,” owner Julie Johnson said. “I try to thrive on keeping the nostalgic atmosphere in here.”

Pictures of Johnson’s family dating back to the opening of Caruso’s line the walls, keeping even more of the nostalgic atmosphere alive.

But it’s not just a candy shop. Caruso’s is known for quite a few tasty dishes, including their old-fashioned soda, ice cream sundaes and cold cut sandwiches.

“A big hit [is] our chocolate malts,” Johnson said. “[They] are probably our most popular ice cream item. I dip those with our chocolate syrup that I actually make here myself too.”

Caruso’s is full of history, tasty food and a whole lot of tradition for the families in southwest Michigan.

“It's fun to sit and listen to people talk about their memories that they had when their grandparents brought them in or their great-grandparents,” Johnson said. “It's kind of neat to sit and watch some of these kids grow up too.”

Caruso’s Candy & Soda Shop is located at 130 S. Front Street in Dowagiac. They are open Monday through Saturday and are closed on Sundays. For more information,