North York’s Wolfgang Candy: ‘Grew from Paul’s pony cart, Robert’s basket, Glenn and Ruby’s red wagon’
A line of packers work away at North York, Pa.,’s, Wolfgang Candy in this York Daily Record/Sunday News photo in 2008. The candymaker, one of many such confectionery businesses in York County, was founded in 1921. Also of interest: Katharine Beecher’s Duets: ‘Freshly ground peanut butter … formed into delicate satin pillows and York Peppermint Patties: ‘York became synonymous with dark chocolate and peppermint’ and York, Pa.: ‘It’s a midsize city with an interesting history’.
Former Wolfgang Candy president Robert Wolfgang II will retire from that iconic York County business, known for producing candy for fundraisers.
Actually, the company has moved beyond that core business, forging into retail sales in recent years.
Wolfgang’s website traces its origin to 1921, although it operated in different forms and locations before then.
Georg Sheets’ “Made in York” tells about a key moment for the company soon after its founding… .
A Wolfgang Candy worker adjusts a chocolate-coating machine in 2007. Two such machines produced 600 pieces of candy an hour.
Up to that point, chocolate dipping was an “ambitious” task. In the winter, the confectionery factory floor was too cold for making certain lines. In the summer, 50-pound blocks of ice were carted into the factory ice box.
“About 1923, the firm added a two-story structure to its factory and had the York Manufacturing Company install a built-in refrigeration unit. The new facilities helped tremendously in standardizing quality of the operations and allowed the business to continue its steady growth.”
This is an interesting example of local businesses helping each other.
Wolfgang’s website includes the classic rags-to-riches description that characterized many multi-generational York County businesses, indeed, many American companies:
“What began in the cellar of the family home on Latimer Street in North York grew, step-by-step, building addition after building addition, until today. The business now occupies three buildings in North York, Pennsylvania for manufacturing and distribution of Wolfgang’s candy products. Marketing of the products grew from Paul’s pony cart, Robert’s basket, Glenn and Ruby’s red wagon in North York to distribution throughout the United States. The pony cart has given way to direct-mail/e-mail promotion and e-commerce, as consumers can purchase Wolfgang Candy direct through the company’s web site: www.wolfgangcandy.com.
York County’s manufacturing heritage tells of many examples where family members do not continue what their forebears started.
In Wolfgang’s case, the fourth generation is continuing the venerable family name.
Update: Wolfgang’s Candy will soon be owned by Divine Serendipity, but its new owners say its candy making operation will stay in North York.