Few products have achieved the iconic status of PEEPS®, the yellow, chick-shaped marshmallow confection beloved by children and adults alike. But, as popular as PEEPS® has become, it is only one of the many delicious products produced by Just Born, an 87-year-old, family-owned confectionery company based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
The Just Born candy tradition actually began in 1910 when Sam Born emigrated to the U.S. from Russia. A candy maker by trade, Born used innovative technology to produce chocolate sprinkles, known as Jimmies, and the hard chocolate coating for ice cream bars. In 1916, Born invented a machine that mechanically inserted sticks into lollipops.
In 1923, Born opened a small candy-making and retail store in Brooklyn, New York. He marketed the freshness of his line of daily-made candy with a sign that declared, “Just Born.” Not long after opening the Brooklyn store, Born invited his brothers-in-law, Irv and Jack Shaffer, to join him in the business.
The company thrived in spite of the economic depression of the 1930s and, in 1932, moved its operations to an empty printing factory in Bethlehem, PA.
The company continued to grow, aided by several key acquisitions. In 1935, Just Born acquired the prestigious Maillard Corporation, well known for elegant hand-decorated chocolates, crystallized fruits, Venetian mints, jellies and “the best bridge mix in the country.”
In 1953, Just Born acquired the Rodda Candy Company of Lancaster, PA. Although Rodda was best known for its jelly beans, it also made a small line of marshmallow products that included a popular Easter Peep that was made by laboriously hand-squeezing marshmallow through pastry tubes.
Sam Born’s son, Bob, who had joined the company in 1946, helped mechanize the marshmallow forming process and Just Born has become the world’s largest manufacturer of novelty marshmallow treats.
Other popular products have been introduced over the years; including MIKE AND IKE® chewy fruit flavored candies in 1940, spicy, cinnamon-flavored HOT TAMALES® in 1950, TEENEE BEANEE® gourmet jelly beans in 1977, and sour ZOURS® in 1999.
Under the current leadership of Co-CEO’s Ross Born and David Shaffer, Just Born acquired Goldenberg Candy Company, makers of PEANUT CHEWS® and CHEW-ETS®, in 2003. Today, Just Born products are exported to many world markets and the candy is available to more than 1.5 billion people worldwide.
Just Born is a family-owned, candy manufacturer headquartered in Bethlehem, PA that has been in business since 1923. We make everyone's favorite candies: MIKE AND IKE®, HOT TAMALES®, GOLDENBERG'S® PEANUT CHEWS®, TEENEE BEANEE® Jelly Beans, and PEEPS®