Discover Boston's once thriving candy industry!
Our shop in North Cambridge features a small whimsical collection of items celebrating the noteworthy candy-making history of the Boston area. The collection includes historic candy boxes, advertisements, store displays, equipment, packaging and many more surprises. It is intermingled with our little retail area, and there is no admission charge.
The Boston metro area was once home to over 140 confectioneries, many of them large multi-story factories. Main Street in Cambridge, once known as “Confectioners Row”, was arguably the epicenter for American candy production through the mid 1960s.
It all started when John Hannon built the first chocolate mill in the area in 1765. It was later sold to his business partner James Baker and became the "Baker Chocolate Company". Sugar refineries eventually popped up, and the industry began its boom when Oliver R. Chase invented a special machine - the first of it's kind in the world - that churned out flavored chalky wafers in 1847. We know them today as NECCO Wafers.
The chocolate & candy industry grew tremendously, reaching its peak in the 1960’s. A few companies from the era remain, but most are long gone and the factory buildings repurposed or torn down. However, remnants remain if you know where to look.