Ganong Bros. Ltd.
Ganong - The Reason St. Stephen is "Canada's Chocolate Town"
It all began with brothers James and Gilbert Ganong who opened a small retail and grocery business in 1873. At first, buying and selling candy was just a small part of their business. The brothers soon realized they had to specialize in certain products to gain an edge on their competitors. Selling fresh oysters was one of the things they tried, as well as making and marketing their own brand of soap.
But it was when they began making their own candy that the foundation was set for what is now Canada's oldest family owned candy-maker. To that they added a distinguishing hallmark that has lasted more than a century: Quality - above all else.
Over the years, Ganong has been the first to do many things, which have made candy and chocolate history including:
- Introducing the Chicken Bone - a pink, cinnamon flavored hard candy with bittersweet chocolate in the centre - in 1885
- Developing and introducing the first Canadian lollipop - 1895
- Using the Acadian heroine Evangeline as their symbol, or logo, for 75 years - 1904
- Inventing and introducing the first milk chocolate nut bar in North America - 1909
- Using cellophane packaging imported from France - 1920
- Introducing a heart-shaped box to hold chocolates. Originally introduced at Christmas, the heart shaped box is now the symbol of Valentine's Day - 1932
- Using real fruit, in puree form, to make fruit snacks - 1988
All but one of the company's six presidents (amazingly, that's all there's been since 1873!) has been a family member. Gilbert Ganong; Arthur Ganong, known as "Mr. A.D."; Whidden Ganong; David Ganong; Doug Ettinger; and Bryana Ganong have all played key roles in the company's growth and success in the face of fires, stiff and often unfair competition, high prices for supplies, and sometimes exorbitant taxes on sugar. In registering the business more than a century ago, Gilbert Ganong described it as "Commission Merchant, Etc." He would say long afterward, "It was the Etc. that saved us." To this day, the "Etc." has come to mean the finest candy and boxed chocolates!