From the hands of loyal candymakers to the hearts of loyal customers
The telephone was invented. America celebrated its 100th birthday. Chase Candy Company was created leading to the invention of the beloved Cherry Mash.
Dr. George Washington Chase, at the urging of his son Ernest, made his first batch of candy and sold it among wholesale items in his GW Chase and Sons Mercantile storefront. This was the beginning of Chase becoming known throughout the Midwest for its fine-quality peanut candies and hand-dipped chocolates.
The very first Cherry Mash was concocted at the 2nd Street plant in St. Joseph, Missouri. The candy was more than four ounces when it was first introduced and was sold unwrapped in a box. Customers would often take the candy back to their business and put it in a glass candy display case.
To accommodate Cherry Mash’s growing popularity, Chase built a four-story plant in downtown St. Joseph that employed more than 400 people. One entire floor was designated to the chocolate dipping crew.
After 50 years in business, Chase had made more than 500 different kinds of candies, including an extensive line of candy bars. Chase’s famous mascot, the ”Candy Cop,” was prominently featured on most of the candy bar wrappers.
Cherry Mash was the most popular in its iconic red and white wrapper, a design that has remained the same since 1930.
The Depression years of the 1930s hit the candy business especially hard. If you had any money, you spent it on food for sustenance, not for your sweet tooth. Chase Candy Company experienced a huge decrease in sales and profits, and an extensive cutback in the number of candies it produced.
During World War II, sugar was rationed. F.S. Yantis and Company, which invested in several Pepsi bottling companies in the Midwest, purchased the Chase Candy Company. By doing so, they acquired a large share of sugar rations to help keep the bottling companies operating. Fewer kinds of candy were made in the late 40s and early 50s.
In the early 1960s, Chase Candy Company moved to a different plant built in St. Joseph, Missouri, to exclusively produce Cherry Mash because it was in such high demand.
Chase Candy Company continues to operate in St. Joseph – the city where Cherry Mash was first created 100 years ago. The company functions out of a new, purpose-built candy factory that opened in 2005.