The History of Dicks Sweets 1938 - Present

The Dicks family, originally from Port Elizabeth, came to Johannesburg in 1938.  They decided to move to Durban in 1936 but found sweet making in the coastal humidity a bit sticky and after a year headed north to settle on the highveld.

Mr. Edwin William Dicks was originally a baker by trade but turned his hand to sweet making which he enjoyed far more.  They started a small factory in Auret Street, Jeppe, and opened a shop in Von Brandes Street, Central Johannesburg.  As the business grew, 3 more shops were opened on Eloff, Rissik and Loveday, cornering the market as an established home made style sweet manufacturer and retailer.

William Dicks' son, also named Eric, worked with his father until the war started and then joined the merchant navy where he was a radio operator.  During this time, Ernest van Graan married Sylvia Dicks, and helped William in the factory.  Unfortunately William passed away in 1944 and left his son and son-in-law to run the factory and Pat Dicks, Eric's wife, to tend to the shops.  Over the next two decades the business grew extensively and larger premises were found at 68 Central Road, Fordsburg.  It was in the late 1960's that Ernest sadly passed away.  Not long after though Eric's nephew John Frewen joined the sweet tree, bringing together a third generation of the family into the company.

In 1986 Eric and Pat retired to Cape Town.  John, together with two partners bought the company.  Due to the deteriation of central Johannesburg the shops were closed down and in the early 1990's the company was resold to three other partners.  They in turn ran it for a couple of years and sold it on again, after which it was liquidated one year later.

Its rebirth began when John started making sweets again in 1998 from his home kitchen.  He was joined by his two sons, Grant and David and very supportive wife Charmaine.  The business grew to a point where his residential property could no longer support production capacity so a factory was bought in Lakeview, Ophirton not far from its original location.  Due to public interest and demand a retail shop is now open in Northcliff, Johannesburg.

Dicks Sweets is now a well established family run business and will continue to be so for many years to come.