Talks & Tastings

True Treats Harpers Ferry Talks and Tastings

All True Treats Historic Candy talks and tastings are conducted by an expert in historic candy at our Harpers Ferry location. Participants learn about everything from Civil War sweets to Native American favorites with samples as they go! Call or e-mail us for a schedule or to reserve a seat.

Corporate, Museum and Other Group Talks and Tastings

In these unique talks, True Treats founder Susan Benjamin reveals the inner workings of candy history and how it affects us today. The subject matter can cover everything from models of business success from American candy innovators to candy in the resistance movement, from slavery through the Cold War. We can customize the talks at no additional expense. Participants sample the candy as we go, creating a truly engaging and visceral experience.

Talks may be followed by a book signing and sales of additional candy.

Upcoming Talks & Tastings

Sweet as Sin

10/21/2017 11:00am with Book Signing

Alexandria Black History Museum
902 Wythe Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314

Sweet as Sin:

The Unwrapped Story of How Candy Became America’s Favorite Pleasure

A Lecture Examining the African American role in American Candy Making

Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 11:00 a.m.


Author and historian Susan Benjamin discusses candy’s incredible history. The story of candy is also intertwined with African American history via the sugar cane industry—infamous for its widespread use of enslaved labor. Within that story are the lives of compelling people, from unknown African Americans who invented machines to process pecans to Norbert Rillieux, the renowned mid-19th century engineer who invented a sugar evaporate, still in use today. They also include African American abolitionists, who developed alternatives to cane sugar and propelled the free product movement; and Delta Blues musicians of the ‘20s, whose stories launched classic candies such as the Charleston Chew.

Susan Benjamin is an author and the founder of True Treats Candy, the nation’s only historic candy company, listed by Food Network Magazine, and Holiday Lettings, Trip Advisor, among others, as one of the nation’s top 50 “Sweet Spots.” Benjamin is also a journalist, former college professor and radio show host, and a member of the Culinary Historians of Washington. Articles featuring Ms. Benjamin have appeared in such places as, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Arizona Republic, the Sacramento Bee, Woman’s Day, and Bon Appétit. Her tenth book, “Sweet as Sin: The Unwrapped Story of How Candy Became America’s Favorite Pleasure” made the Smithsonian’s “Best of Books about Food for 2016.”

This lecture and tasting will be presented on Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 11:00 am at the Alexandria Black History Museum. The event costs $15 per person, with a complementary treat bag. It is open to the public, and it is appropriate for all ages.  Reservations are Strongly Recommended via the Office of Historic Alexandria Shop website:

The Alexandria Black History Museum is located at 902 Wythe Street, Alexandria, Virginia  22314, and it is five blocks from the Braddock Road Metro Station on the Yellow and Blue Lines. Street parking is available. For more information, please call 703.746.4356.The City of Alexandria is committed to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended. To request a reasonable accommodation, e-mail, or call 703.746.4356, Virginia Relay 711.

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