Wednesday, July 19, 2023

History of Heath candy bar

The creation of the first candy bar in 1847 is attributed to the Fry family of England. Around 1912, a new kind of candy known as "combination candy bars" emerged, consisting of chocolate bars filled with caramel, peanuts, marshmallow, and toffee. These ingredients, which became popular after the Civil War, were relatively novel additions that quickly gained favor among consumers. The Heath bar, an American candy bar renowned for its English toffee flavor, bears the name of the Heath brothers, Bayard and Everett Heath. Hailing from Illinois, these confectioners developed the Heath bar in the 1920s, successfully elevating it from a local delight to a nationally recognized candy bar.
Born in 1870, Lawrence Seymour Heath earned an engineering degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1901. Throughout his career, he held various positions, including Latin and Greek instructor, school administrator, town engineer in Robinson, Illinois, surveyor, insurance and real estate salesman, dairyman, and assistant postmaster. In 1913, Lawrence purchased a confectionery shop in Robinson, Illinois, envisioning it as a business opportunity for his eldest sons, Bayard Heath and Everett Heath. The following year, the brothers established a combined candy store, ice cream parlor, and manufacturing operation, offering a diverse range of treats.

As their business thrived, Lawrence Heath developed an interest in ice cream and opened a small dairy factory in 1915. Simultaneously, his sons continued expanding the confectionery business. In 1915, they reportedly obtained a toffee recipe from Vriner's Greek confectionery in Champaign through a traveling salesman. With some modifications to the recipe, the father and his two sons created the candy bar, leading to the establishment of the Heath Candy Company. Initially, the candy was marketed and sold under a different name in the 1920s. However, in 1928, they rebranded it as "Heath English Toffee" and promoted it as "America's Finest." Despite its modest 1-ounce size and a price of 5 cents, comparable to larger bars, the Heath bar gained tremendous popularity during the Great Depression.

Until 1942, the candy was meticulously crafted by hand, utilizing traditional tools like a copper kettle, stirring paddle, marble slab, and rolling knife. In 1989, the Heath family sold the candy business to Leaf Inc., and in 1996, The Hershey Company acquired Leaf Inc., assuming the responsibility of producing Heath Bars. Hershey's also manufactures other beloved snacks such as Whatchamacallit and Reese's NutRageous Bar.
History of Heath candy bar