Born in Italy, founder, Victor Marini brought his family to Santa Cruz in 1905 and opened the Palace Barbershop on Cooper Street across from the old Santa Cruz Court House. He also had a barbershop in the old Casa del Rey Hotel near the Boardwalk.
One spring day in 1915, Victor accepted a customer’s offer and bought his popcorn stand at the Boardwalk. Joseph Marini Sr. started working for his dad at the age of 10 in 1920. During the decades following his father’s death in 1938, Joe Sr. and his wife Josephine were instrumental in building up the business.
The family soon expanded the operation and started making salt water taffy, caramel corn, and candy apples. In the years to follow, the business was passed on to Joe Sr.’s sons, Joseph Jr. and Joel, and their wives Carol and Kathy.
Today, Nick, Gino and their families continue the tradition of making fine candies. In addition to their famous salt water taffy, Marini’s also offer a variety of hand dipped nut clusters and caramels, turtles, English toffee, rocky road, chocolate dipped strawberries, homemade fudge, caramel apples, and an assortment of candies from all over the world.