Well, Is It?
February 5, 2023
As Valentine’s Day approaches, maybe a little boxed candy talk is in order.
Did you know American boxed chocolates of the brands many of us know started as husband and wife, or partner, kitchen businesses in the 1920s and 1930s?
One famous California-based boxed chocolate company is See’s. See’s was founded by Charles See, his wife Florence, and his mother Mary in Los Angeles in 1921.
Did you know Warren Buffett has owned See’s Candies since 1972, calling it his “dream” business. It was the first high-quality business, as opposed to fixer-upper value company, Warren ever bought.
Did you know “Lucy in the Chocolate Factory,” one of the most watched television shows of all time, was filmed at the See’s Candies store on La Cienega Boulevard in LA?
Did you know See’s Candies relocated their headquarters from LA to South San Francisco in the 1930s for a cooler climate to store their chocolates?
Most boxed chocolate candy companies in the United States were started and grew in northern cities. It was just too warm in the South to keep chocolate fresh in the early days of refrigeration.
Transplants from more eastern regions may fondly remember your childhood with Whitman’s in Philadelphia, Fannie May and Brach’s in Chicago, or Russell Stover from Denver and Kansas City.
Did you know Forrest Gump didn’t hold a box of Alabama chocolates at his bus stop? Nope, his box was Russell Stover.
Did you know every time you purchase San Francisco’s beloved Ghirardelli chocolate, established in 1852, you are patronizing the third-oldest chocolate company in the US, after Baker’s Chocolate (1780) and Whitman’s (1842).
Did you know the Brach’s factory in northside Chicago was the largest candy factory in the world, almost 2.5 million square feet of space in 1950?
Brach’s fell into bankruptcy in the 1980s, suffering from a period of extended sugar shortage.
It is now Mexican candy, produced in a company town outside Monterrey.
Did you know some candy makers got their start with coated ice cream bars? Yep, Russell Stover and yet another Chicago confectioner, Dove, were known from their ice cream dating back to their early years in the 1930s.
Our Mission Viejo friend, Catherine Barr, who has marketed Dove products for many years in our area, can spin some good yarns about Dove.
Did you know every one of the American boxed candy companies we’ve touched upon today are now subsidiaries of venerable chocolatiers, mostly out of Europe. Chocolates, after all, are a global business, and we were late starters.
So is life like a box of chocolates where you never know what you are going to get?
Well of course, generally about life events in your journey.
But it when comes to your health, there’s nothing mysterious about “what you’re gonna get.” Eat healthily and you’re likely going to have a better life.
Follow the average American diet and you’re likely to have a shortened and poorer quality journey. The only mystery may be when it ends.
Did you know…see the bottom of our email?
In a recent Blue Zones post, author Amy Fletcher discussed the benefits of walking, especially that walking can lead to a longer life with better outcomes. Logging more steps per day as a systematic approach to health has an intuitive appeal, especially in light of the obesity epidemic in the United States. Though the fitness industry is worth an estimated $35 billion per year, approximately 41.9 percent of the population is classified as obese.
Are Unhealthy Foods Addictive?
Stop and think about what you ate yesterday. Did some of those foods elicit a strong “I must have more!” feeling? You may be eating some foods that are considered addictive by health professionals. Take a moment to read this article.
If it’s red and it’s considered to be an aphrodisiac, then beets sound like the perfect Valentine’s Day food! Enjoy some delicious beet soup on February 14th.
Did you know Forrest in the picture at the beginning of our email is a wax figure exhibit in Madame Tussaud’s museum in Berlin, Germany?