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. 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
Since 1873 the company has stayed true, wholesome and family owned. The presidents: Gilbert Ganong; Arthur Ganong, known as “Mr. A.D.”; Whidden Ganong; David Ganong; 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.