Four generations of Marini’s have been making quality candy in Santa Cruz, California since 1915. Our famous salt water taffy is made the old fashioned way and is machine pulled to a firm consistency using the original recipe devised by our founder, Victor A. Marini.


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 Courthouse. He also owned a barber shop 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. It was from this candy stand that a Santa Cruz tradition was born evolving into a fourth generation family business. Joseph Marini Sr. started working for his dad at the age of 10 in 1920. The family soon expanded the operation and started making salt water taffy, caramel corn, and candy apples. During the decades succeeding his father’s death in 1938, Joe Sr. and his wife Josephine were instrumental in building up the business.

In the years to follow, the business went on to Joe Sr.’s sons, Joseph Jr. and Joel, and their wives Carol and Kathy.


Today, Nick, Gino, Joseph III, 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.

Our candies are manufactured from the highest quality ingredient available, and satisfaction is guaranteed. 

Marini’s fine candies and treats are available at the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf and at our Westside Santa Cruz location at 332 Ingalls Street.


Learn about the rich history and origin of Marini's Candies in a 1991 interview with Joe Marini Sr. by Seaside Co.

Joe Marini Sr. Interview

by Seaside Co. 1991