My husband loved Peeps candy. I decided to find out who made these marshmallow candies. At first, I thought the man’s name was “Just Born” because that was his company’s logo. I wondered why anyone would name their kid Just. I mean, really, your baby is born and you name him Just.:) I’ll tell you where the “Just” came from in a minute.
His name was actually Sam Born. He was Jewish, grew up in Russia and immigrated to the United States from France. Sam was a candy maker by trade. Once he arrived, he introduced “French Chocolates” to New York City. He later opened a small retail store and factory in Brooklyn, New York.
In his new store, he proudly displayed the growing line of candy he made each day. He used the candy’s daily freshness to sell it. He displayed a sign that announced, “just born”. I felt a little silly, when I read this. However, it definitely made me stop and take notice. His brother-in-law’s joined him after the store opened. The Just Born Company thrived through the Great Depression. People love their sweets. In 1932, Just Born moved its company to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where it became another important employment source for this well-known steel town.
Born opened the first PEEPS & COMPANY® Retail Store in 1953 by acquiring the Rodda Candy Company along with its marshmallow chick line. He eventually replaced the painstaking process of hand-forming the chicks. What once took 27 hours for 1 Package of Peeps, now took 6 minutes with mass production.
Sam capitalized on the strength of the PEEPS® brand. Just Born opened its first retail store under the name of PEEPS & COMPANY® in National Harbor, MD just outside Washington DC. Along with peeps he made few of the other brands of candy. He is famous for are MIKE AND IKE, COOL KIDS, Spearmint Flavored Candies, and Mike and Ike ROOT T TOOT Root beer Flavored Candies.
Sam didn’t stop there. He didn’t just make candy, he was responsible for the technology to produce chocolate sprinkles, known as Jimmies; the hard chocolate coating used for Eskimo Pies; and was given the keys to the city of San Francisco in 1916 for inventing a machine that mechanically inserted sticks into lollipops called the Born sucker machine.
When you get Peeps this Easter remember Sam Born’s dedication to candy making created candy that is known for its “Just Born” flavor.