|Privately held company|
|Headquarters||1300 Stefko Boulevard, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States|
Just Born is a privately held, family-owned, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based candy company that manufactures and markets a number of chewy candies including Mike and Ike, Hot Tamales, ZOURS, Teenee Beanee Gourmet Jelly Beans as well as Peanut Chews candies — and the iconic marshmallow candies, Peeps.
Marketing its products under the tagline "a great candy isn't made...it's Just Born," the company was ranked as the 10th largest candy company in the United States, as of 2013.
Russian immigrant Sam Born came to the United States in 1910. In 1916, Born was awarded the "key to the city" of San Francisco for inventing a machine that mechanically inserted sticks into lollipops.
In 1917, Born opened a small retail store in Brooklyn, New York. He displayed in his store window an evolving line of daily made candy, marketing its freshness with a sign that declared Just Born. The original company logo showed a baby resting in a candy measuring scale. Sam Born is also credited with the invention of chocolate sprinkles, known as "jimmies," and the hard coating on ice cream bars.
In 1923, Born started his own manufacturing company in New York City. Irv and Jack Schaffer, Born's brothers in law, joined the company to help market and sell the confections. In 1932, the trio moved operations to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The company took over a 4 story, 224,396 sq. ft. building, built in 1920, from a bankrupt printing company.
Sam Born's son, Bob Born, joined the company in 1946 and would later become President for more than 30 years. He was part of the two man team that mechanized the marshmallow Peeps forming process, allowing a substantial increase in production, leading Just Born to become America's largest manufacturer of seasonal marshmallow confections.
In 1953 Just Born acquired Rodda Candy Co. of Lancaster County; manufacturer of jelly beans, as well as a seasonal (Easter) "martello" candy: Peeps. Just Born later mechanizing the product manufacture, broadening its marketing, and ultimately creating a candy with iconic, year-round appeal.
In 2003, Just Born purchased the Goldenberg Candy Company, retaining its Philadelphia factory. Just Born originally rebranded Goldenberg's Peanut Chews as a Just Born product under a new marketing campaign which deleted a reference to the name Goldenberg. The company later reversed its marketing approach.
Just Born continues to be family owned. Currently the co-CEOs are Mr. Born's grandson Ross Born and nephew David Shaffer. David Yale is the current President and Chief Operating Officer.
The first Just Born retail store “Peeps and Company” opened in fall 2009 at National Harbor, Maryland. In winter 2012, two more stores opened at the Mall of America, Minnesota and the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
- Andrew Adam Newman (April 11, 2012). "Reviving Two Characters by Tearing Them Apart". The New York Times.
- Nadia Marblestone (August 12, 2013). "Bethlehem's Just Born Quality Confections celebrates 90 years of candy making". Lehigh Valley Live.
- Dan Sheehan (October 14, 2015). "You know you're from the Lehigh Valley if you ever had Peeps in your Easter basket". The Morning Call, Lehigh Valley.
- Andrew Adam Newman (October 11, 1999). "Company Is Making More Than a Peep in the Candy Industry". Bill Bergstrom.
- Andrew Adam Newman (August 19, 2012). "After Failed Identity Change, Peanut Chews Reclaims Its Goldenberg’s Roots". The New York Times.