The Velatis Caramel Company (1866-1970)
A family establishment, Velatis continues to serve its caramels today despite the demolition of their original DC shop in 1970 due to the expansion of the Metro Rail System.
Italian immigrant Salvator Velati opened the first Velatis candy shop in Richmond, Virginia in the 1850s. This store burnt to the ground just prior to the end of the Civil War. In 1866, the Velatis Caramel Company moved to DC and reopened for business at 620 9th Street NW.
In the early 1970s, construction of the Washington Metro Rail System compromised the foundation of the shop, where Velatis had stood for 106 years. Velatis closed its doors and sold the trademark and secret recipes to the department store, Woodward & Lothrop who produced and sold the caramels until it closed. In 1995, J.C. Penney Corporation purchased all of Woodward & Lothrop’s assets after they filed for bankruptcy. J. C. Penney Corporation began to sell off portions of their purchase, including the Velatis’ candy recipes and trademark.
New Velatis owners launched online sales and returned to the area in 2009, when they opened a Velatis candy shop and kitchen in Silver Spring, Maryland.
DC Inventory: November 8, 1964, omitted from list July 24, 1968