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Sketched Nov. 21, 2012

You may look at this sketch and think I went to Switzerland, but I only had to go as far as Issaquah to enjoy a delightful Alpine scene.

The authentic Swiss-style Edelweiss Chalet, home to Boehms Candies since 1956, was built by Julius Boehm, an Austrian immigrant who relocated his chocolate factory from Seattle to Issaquah to be closer to the mountains.

Since Boehm passed away in 1981, longtime employee and current owner Bernard Garbusjuk has carried on the tradition of making good chocolate and welcoming visitors to the factory and grounds, which include a replica of a 12th-century chapel that Boehm dedicated to fallen mountaineers.

Garbusjuk’s face lit up as people flocked into the store on the rainy day I was there. He marveled that people still make the trek to the chalet for holiday sweets.

“Isn’t it wonderful?” he said. “We are not just retail; we are a landmark.”

Mindi Reid, Boehms Candies in-house historian, said group tours of the chalet and the High Alpine Chapel (also known as the Luis Trenker Chapel) are offered by appointment during the winter months. In the summer, scheduled tours are offered every Saturday and Sunday. For more details and directions, visit Boehms site at