It came as a complete shock but effective 15 February,2007, one of America’s oldest candy manufacturers will be closing it’s doors leaving a void in the domestically produced bulk candy industry. Truth be told, few saw this coming and below is an excerpt from their letter as to the reasons as to why they are ceasing production…
January 12, 2007
TO OUR VALUED CUSTOMERS
We regret to announce that Peerless Confectionary Company, manufacturer of quality hard candies in Chicago, Illinois, since 1924, will cease operations effective April 30, 2007. Declining consumption of hard candy and the increasing prevalence of imports and offshore production are two major factors influencing our decision. To remain competitive in this environment would require us to move our facility offshore, which is not an option we are willing to consider. To do so would betray our tradition of quality and our commitment to our family of workers.
For 93 years Peerless has been proud to offer our customers the finest quality hard candies made in America. That tradition will continue until the last piece of candy is produced….”
While their candies will surely be missed, we have been told that there will be some marvelous condos available in the “former candy factory…”
It’s an interesting thought experiment to consider how much of their closing is truly due to the hard state of the candy biz these days, and how much of it is due to the financial benefits from selling the business to build these condos. Writing this from Pittsburgh it’s hard not to think of all of the amazing things here that have closed down and been turned into condos (the legendary rock club Laga comes quickly to mind), and Chicago is another city with a lot of history that’s suffering from the same sort of urban ennui. Whatever the motivation for Peerless Candy’s withdrawal, it’s a shame that another locally-owned company is throwing in the towel. And really, aren’t there enough luxury condos?