Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Brach (E. J.) & Sons
Brach (E. J.) & Sons

Brach (E. J.) & Sons

In 1904, Emil J. Brach opened his “Palace of Sweets” at North Avenue and Towne Street in Chicago. The output of this candy factory grew quickly, producing more than 25 tons a week by 1911 and 1,000 tons a week by 1918. In 1922, the company built a large new plant on the city's West Side; this facility, the largest candy factory in the United States, soon employed hundreds of men and women. Brach's annual sales grew from about $8 million in 1925 to $22 million in 1945 and $62 million in 1961. Between 1966 and 1986, Brach was owned by the American Home Products Corp. of New York; it was then purchased by Jacobs Suchard, a Swiss company. By the end of the 1980s, Brach was still the clear leader in the bulk candy market, and the company's 3,500 workers made it the leading employer on the city's West Side. But Brach performed poorly under Suchard, which cut jobs and moved the executive offices to suburban Oakbrook Terrace. In 1994, Brach merged with the Brock Candy Co., creating a new company called Brach & Brock Confections Inc., based in Chattanooga, Tennessee.