Blumenthal Brothers Chocolate Company

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The Blumenthal Brothers Chocolate Company was a Philadelphia-based chocolate manufacturer that existed from 1911 to 1984. Its factory was located at Margaret and James Streets in the city's Frankford neighborhood.

The company was founded in 1909 and existed under Blumenthal family management until 1969 when it was sold to Ward Foods, a New York-based conglomerate best known for making Tip Top bread. The principal reason for the sale was that few of the third generation of Blumenthals were interested in managing the company; legal difficulties had nothing to do with it. [1] After the sale, a new company called Ward Candy company was formed with my uncle Bernhard S. Blumenthal as its president. [2]

The company eventually fell on hard times and the brand names were sold to Nestle in the early 1984. The beginning of the hard times came after the death of Al Ehrlich, who helped manage the company [3]

The legal difficulties noted in 1974 took place five years after the company was sold to Ward Foods; The Terson Company purchased Ward Foods in 1981 while Ward had a continuing loss of 7.2 million. The eventual sale of Ward Foods Candy Segment and its several brands happened 3 years later on January 9th 1984, when the company was under the expert management of the Terson Company, sold its brands to Nestle ensuring generations would continue to enjoy these historical candies .[4]

History[edit]

Founded in 1911, The Blumenthal Brothers produced many candies which are still popular today, as well as many chocolates that are no longer manufactured. The company's best-known products, Goobers, Sno Caps and Raisinets, were introduced in the late 1920s. By the late 1940s Blumenthal candies became popular snacks at movie theaters throughout the United States.

Legal difficulties[edit]

In 1968 Louis Perez, a Blumenthal employee, sued the company in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, claiming he was forced to work in exposure to a heavy concentration of dust and excessive heat in his employment.[5] The high court affirmed the lower court's decision in his favor, forcing the company to compensate him.

In 1974 the company was again taken to court, this time for falsification of its gross income by secretly manufacturing products outside the state of Pennsylvania, keeping on average $5 million a year from being disclosed.[6]

The court cases crippled the company financially and eventually led to bankruptcy. In 1984 Terson Company and its Ward brands, best known then for Chunky chocolate candy, divested the combined candy companies to Nestle and the rights to its products to ensure its legacy. Blumenthal’s flagship products, Goobers, Raisinets, and Sno-Caps. Most recently, Nestle sold them, along with other products, to Ferraro in January 2018 to Ferrero for $2.8 billion .[7]

Notable candies[edit]

  • Goobers, chocolate-coated peanuts introduced in 1925.[8]
  • Malteens, chocolate-covered malt balls
  • Chunky bars, trapezoidal chocolate bar with nuts and raisins
  • Sno Caps, semi-sweet chocolate candies covered with white nonpareils introduced in 1927.
  • Raisinets, chocolate-coated raisins introduced in 1927.[9]

References[edit]