Our Early History
History of McKeesport Candy Company 1959 - 1973
Written by Mark Andover on behalf of the National Candy Wholesalers Association - July 1967
The McKeesport Candy Company was founded by Ernest Prince in 1927. Some years later, exact date unknown, he was joined in the business by his cousin Max Mullen.
The company had a consistent growth and in 1935 they moved to their present location at 1101 Fifth Avenue in Mckeesport. This location was expanded in succeeding years by adding on to the original building.
The company deals in wholesale candy and distribution of tobacco products. Since 1945 their line has expanded to include the packaging of candy as well as a large line of seasonal candy and candy novelties.
Their customers include discount stores, grocery outlets, drug stores, super markets and large volume users throughout Western Pennsylvania. Todd Candy Company was incorporated in 1958. Bulk candies are bagged under the Todd label and this merchandise is sold to McKeesport Co. for distribution. Todd carries some 160 items, many of which are not available from any other source. The company has a long history of sourcing obscure, hard to find and regional candies. The two companies share the same premises with facilities divided off. The combined companies now employ 37 persons, but we anticipate a double of this figure in a short time.
There is an ever growing demand for candy items that are available at a local level. Because of uncertainty of freight shipments and the highly seasonal nature of the business, many chains and large super markets make use, or would make use of a local supplier to round out their departments and to provide back up merchandise when direct shipments so not arrive.
The principal in the firm includes:
Max Mullen, President
Mr. Mullen succeeded Mr. Ernest Prince who died in 1959. At present Max Mullen takes care of financial aspects including accounts receivable.
Gerald Prince, Vice President and Treasurer
Mr. Prince is 39 years old and entered the company in 1949. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh. Mr. Prince’s responsibilities include buying and operation of the warehousing and packing facilities.
Sidney Mullen, Treasurer
Sidney is 46 years old. He has been with the company for 23 years. He is also sales manger and co-ordinates activities of the outside sales force.
Robert T. Mullen, Secretary
He is 47 and joined the company in 1952. He attended M I T, Harvard and the University of Pittsburgh and Mr. Mullen handles sales to volume purchases.
The management is young , aggressive and able to sense trends and consumer desires and the company remain committed to following Ernest Prince’s mission statement conveyed in his 1955 keynote Presidential speech to the National Wholesale Confectioner’s Association " To continue progress, the candy wholesaler must find ways to better serve the mass market. Two very important ways in which he is better equipped is the quality of customer service and availability of merchandise..."