Schrafft's was a candy and chocolate company based in Sullivan Square, Charlestown, Massachusetts. The famous Schrafft's neon sign is a significant landmark in Boston, although the former factory it sits above, constructed in 1928, has been redeveloped for business accommodation. Schrafft's later expanded to form a restaurant chain also known as Schrafft's in New York, and a collection of motor inns and restaurants along the eastern seaboard from New England to Florida during the 1950's and 1960's.
Schrafft's was founded as a candy company by William F. Schrafft in Boston, in 1861. Frank Shattuck took over in 1898, expanding the company to include restaurants. By 1915, they had nine stores in Manhattan, one in Brooklyn, and one in Syracuse, NY as well as the facility in Boston. They had grown to 22 stores in 1923, 42 stores in 1934, and 55 stores in 1968.
PET milk purchased Schrafft's in 1967; breaking the ice cream, restaurant, and candy operations into separate companies. Only the ice cream line survives, having been purchased by the LeSauvage family, owners of several ice cream labels. The New York-New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas features a Schrafft's Ice Cream parlor.
In 1968, in an attempt to broaden their customer base, Schrafft's commissioned a 60 second television commercial from pop artist Andy Warhol.
Currently the building, Schrafft Center, is owned by the Flatley Company, and operates as a commercial property, located at 529 Main Street, Charlestown, Massachusetts. Office tenants include Boston Interactive, Fitcorp, Bright Horizons Family Solutions, Beacon Hospice, iCorps Technology, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Telemundo Boston, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Schrafft's of New York is mentioned several times in James Howard Kunstler's book, Manhattan Gothic (pages 30, 33).
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