For more than a century, the Eagle family has made and sold candy in Columbus.

That track record is in jeopardy.

Dee Dee Eagle, the fourth generation of the family to run the business, said the Eagle Family Candy Co. probably will close next month if it can't raise enough money to buy its building on High Street in Clintonville.

She and her husband, James Peck, have launched a GoFundMe page to raise $215,000 to buy the property before Nov. 5, when it is scheduled to be listed for sale.

As of Oct. 15, less than $5,000 had been pledged.

If Eagle loses the building, that probably will mean the end of the company her great-grandfather George Eagle founded in 1912.

After selling chocolates door to door, George Eagle opened the first Eagle Family Candy shop on West Fifth Avenue. Son John Eagle bought a house at 4592 N. High St. and built the chocolate factory and store onto it at 4590 N. High St.

The house now is used for storage.

"This place is everything to me, and this is all I've ever known," said Dee Dee Eagle, 38.

"I remember from the day I could walk, coming through here," she said, tearing up. "This is all I know, and I couldn't imagine doing anything else."

Dee Dee Eagle started waiting on customers and boxing candy when she was 12. She and Peck took over as the fourth generation in 2012 but have struggled in a changing candy world.

"Candy is so mass-produced on such a high level. It's really not special anymore," said Peck, 35. "It's a very hard business to be in when you're so seasonal."

Like most other candy makers, Eagle Family Candy generates much of its business from November through April, Eagle said.

Most of the shop's staples -- butter creams, wafer mints, French creams, fudge and peanut brittle -- are made from George Eagle's original recipes. The company's biggest seller is its take on turtles called Eaglettes.

Eagle and Peck make the candy with the same equipment used for decades by the family, including a caramel cooker fashioned out of a World War I drill press.

"Let's be honest, there's no way I'm going to be able to move this equipment," Eagle said. "I just think trying to open up somewhere else or move -- it's just not feasible for us."

Eagle's 91-year-old grandmother, Deloris Eagle, who lives in a Westerville nursing home, owns the building and must sell it.

"She's not doing well, and to keep her where she's at, her advisers are saying that this asset has to be sold," Eagle said.

At 106 years old, Eagle Candy is one of the longest-running family companies in Columbus, but it isn't close to the oldest family-owned candy shop in the country.

That distinction is held by Wittich's Candy Shop in Circleville, founded in 1840.

Still, Dee Dee Eagle is hoping that Eagle Family Candy's streak doesn't end soon.

"We've had an amazing run here, and we want to continue being in Clintonville and being a part of everyone's traditions."

mhenry@dispatch.com

@megankhenry