What Is the Oldest Chocolate Company?

You're on a quest to discover the roots of chocolate delight, and your journey leads you to Baker's Chocolate Company, established in 1780 in Dorchester, Massachusetts. It's not just the oldest chocolate company in the US, but also in the world, boasting a demonstration of excellence that has spanned centuries. Now under the umbrella of Kraft Heinz, Baker's bridges the gap between past and present, offering a validation to the enduring appeal of chocolate and the visionary spirit of its founder, James Baker. As you explore further, you'll uncover an intriguing blend of history, innovation, and the sweet allure that has captured hearts around the globe.

Key Takeaways

  • Baker's Chocolate Company, founded in 1780, is the oldest chocolate company in the US and the world.
  • It was established in Dorchester, Massachusetts, marking the dawn of chocolate making.
  • The company is known for its tradition of excellence in producing high-quality chocolate.
  • Baker's Chocolate Company is now owned by Kraft Heinz, blending historical legacy with modern ownership.
  • Its enduring legacy and innovative spirit have made it a synonymous brand with quality and tradition in the chocolate industry.

The Dawn of Chocolate Making

Tracing back to 1780, Baker's Chocolate Company marked the beginning of chocolate making as it's understood today. Founded by James Baker in Dorchester, Massachusetts, this company stands as the oldest chocolate company in the United States, and indeed, the world. You're delving into a story that's not just about a business, but about the very roots of chocolate production in the modern era. Imagine the United States over two centuries ago; that's when Baker's Chocolate Company began its journey, setting the standard for generations to come.

Under James Baker's guidance, this company didn't just make chocolate; it pioneered an industry. With over two centuries under its belt, Baker's Chocolate Company has maintained a tradition of excellence, producing high-quality chocolate that has been a part of American households for generations. Now owned by Kraft Heinz, the company's legacy continues, bridging the gap between the past and the present. It's a tribute to the enduring appeal of chocolate and the visionary spirit of James Baker.

As you explore the origins of chocolate making, you're not just learning about a company; you're stepping into a piece of history that has shaped the chocolate industry in the United States and beyond.

Elmer Chocolate Company Origins

Founded in 1855 in New Orleans, the Elmer Chocolate Company originally started as Miller Candy Co., marking its place in the rich tapestry of the chocolate industry's history. This initial step laid the foundation for what would become one of the oldest chocolate brands in existence. As the company evolved, it underwent a significant transformation following the marriage of its owner, leading to its rebranding as the Miller-Elmer Candy Corp. Eventually, it adopted the name Elmer Candy Corp., under which it operates today.

Being family-owned since its inception, the Elmer Chocolate Company has been under the stewardship of the Nelson family since 1963. This long-standing ownership has ensured that the company's dedication to quality and innovation remains unwavering. Over the years, Elmer has become famous for producing chocolate delights, including signature products like Heavenly Hash, Gold Brick, and Pecan Eggs, which have delighted generations.

In 1970, Elmer Chocolate Company moved its operations to Ponchatoula, strengthening its position as a major player in the chocolate industry. Today, it stands as the country's second-largest manufacturer of heart-shaped box chocolates, producing millions of chocolate eggs annually and continuing a legacy that intertwines with the very fabric of chocolate's rich history.

Iconic Products and Innovations


Having explored the origins of Elmer Chocolate Company, let's now turn our attention to the iconic products and innovations that have solidified its standing in the chocolate world. When you think of Baker's Chocolate Company, you're delving into a rich tapestry of milk chocolate, chocolate bars, and an array of sweet treats that have delighted generations. This company didn't just stop at producing high-quality chocolate; it revolutionized the industry with its product line.

One of the most iconic innovations from Baker's was the introduction of prepackaged confections. Imagine this: it's 1912, and for the first time, you're seeing chocolates like the Whitman's Sampler wrapped in cellophane. This wasn't just a step forward in preserving freshness; it was a leap into making chocolate an accessible luxury for everyone.

Baker's blend of tradition and innovation has kept its product line at the forefront of the chocolate industry. From the creamy texture of their milk chocolate to the rich depth of their chocolate bars, each piece is an expression of over two centuries of dedication to quality. These aren't just sweet treats; they're iconic products that have woven Baker's Chocolate Company into the fabric of chocolate history.

Ownership and Legacy

Throughout the years, Baker's Chocolate Company has seen its ownership evolve, now resting under the care of Kraft Heinz, a demonstration of its enduring legacy in the chocolate world. Founded in 1780, this iconic brand hasn't just survived; it has thrived, maintaining a historic presence that few can rival. As the oldest chocolate company, Baker's has become synonymous with quality and tradition, a sign of its ability to adapt and grow through centuries of change in the chocolate industry.

Now, as part of Kraft Heinz, Baker's Chocolate Company continues to honor its rich heritage while looking forward to new horizons. This change in ownership marks yet another chapter in its storied history, but the essence of what made Baker's a household name remains untouched. You're witnessing a living piece of history, a brand that has navigated the ebb and flow of the chocolate industry with grace and resilience. Kraft Heinz's caretaking ensures that the legacy of Baker's Chocolate Company, a cornerstone in the world of chocolate, will be preserved and celebrated for generations to come.

Valentines Day Traditions

Celebrating Valentine's Day, you'll find that giving chocolates, a tradition dating back to the 18th century, remains a heartfelt way to express affection. This special day, marked every February 14th, isn't just about any chocolates. Chocolate hearts and heart-shaped boxes have become the emblem of this sweet tradition. These gifts aren't merely treats; they're symbols of love and care, wrapped in the allure of cocoa.

The Elmer Chocolate Company has played a significant role in perpetuating this tradition. Known for their heart-shaped box chocolates, they've become a staple for many celebrating Valentine's Day. It's fascinating how a simple box can convey so much, becoming almost as iconic as the day itself. The tradition of exchanging these chocolate gifts goes beyond mere taste; it's about creating memories, a gesture that says, 'You're special.'

With over 58 million pounds of chocolate purchased in the week leading up to Valentine's Day in the United States alone, it's clear this tradition isn't fading. Whether it's the allure of chocolate hearts or the classic heart-shaped boxes, Valentine's Day remains a time to celebrate love, with the Elmer Chocolate Company at the heart of this sweet tradition.

The Future of Elmer Chocolate

Looking ahead, the future of Elmer Chocolate Company appears promising, with plans to innovate while honoring its rich heritage. Founded in New Orleans in 1855, Elmer's has been a beloved part of the community, crafting chocolates that have woven themselves into the fabric of local and national celebrations. With the Heavenly Hash recipe acquired in 1923 and the introduction of Gold Brick and Pecan Eggs, Elmer's has consistently shown its ability to delight chocolate lovers.

Under the ownership of the Nelson family since 1963, the company's dedication to quality and tradition has never wavered. As the country's second-largest heart-shaped box chocolate manufacturer, Elmer's knows a thing or two about capturing hearts. The company's commitment to producing millions of chocolate eggs annually speaks to its mastery in chocolate craftsmanship.

As you look to the future, you can expect Elmer Chocolate to continue blending innovation with tradition. Whether it's refining the classic Heavenly Hash recipe or introducing new delights, Elmer's is set to keep its legacy alive. For chocolate aficionados and novices alike, Elmer's in New Orleans remains a sweet spot, promising to fill every heart-shaped box with joy and every occasion with unforgettable flavors.


As you've journeyed through the sweet saga of Elmer Chocolate, you've unwrapped the legacy of the oldest chocolate company. From its humble beginnings to becoming a household name, Elmer's hasn't just survived but thrived, quietly eclipsing many a competitor.

Their iconic treats continue to capture hearts, especially when Cupid's arrows fly each February. As for the future, it's clear Elmer's is set to sweetly sail into the sunset, their confections promising to enchant taste buds for generations to come.
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