Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I Like Andes
We didn't know that! Thanks to commenter "CLC" for pointing out that Andes Mints started right here as a local business in Uptown, at the site of the long-empty Lance building, and the future home of the Black Ensemble Theater complex.
From the 4/29/2010 Chicago Tribune:
George Andrew Kanelos' father opened his little shop in Chicago around 1920 and named it after himself, "Andy's Candies," stocking the shelves with handmade confections. People loved the chocolates, but men buying candy for their wives or girlfriends didn't take to another man's moniker on the heart-shaped satin box. So his father changed the name to Andes Candies.
Yes, those Andes Candies.
The ubiquitous Andes Creme de Menthe, a small rectangular mint-green layer sandwiched between two layers of chocolate, hit the market in 1950. While his father created the confection and sold it in his more than 100 Chicago-area Andes Candies stores, it was young George who took the after-dinner mint national — and made the bright green foil-wrapped candies iconic.
Taking over as the company's president in 1959, Mr. Kanelos foresaw the increasing demand for the Andes mints. So he shifted the company's focus away from his neighborhood shops to mass production and distribution, moving his small factory from 4450 N. Clark St. to a large state-of-the-art facility in Delavan, Wis., in 1971.
"It went from being a local retail business to becoming a highly automated manufacturing company known all over the country," said his son, Andrew.
Andes Mints are now manufactured by Tootsie Roll Industries in Delavan, Wisconsin.