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My Blog

Fanny May Chcolates and Christmas Memories

Good morning to everyone.  Summer just seems to be whipping by.  I am not sure why August seems to be different for me...but somehow, through the years...the month of August sounds and smells different than every other month.  It is as though I can feel, hear and smell Autumn approaching. 
Well, as I pondered over what today's blog should be...I couldn't help but jump over to thoughts of Christmas.  I know that most are not thinking about Christmas at this point, but Christmas is with me all year long.  Today, for some reason, the thoughts of Fannie May Chocolates came to mind.  You might at this point be wondering how that connects to Christmas...Right?  Well, you see, when I was a young girl, my mother was divorced from my father.  We lived with my grandparents in Chicago.  My mother worked and my grandparents raised me.  As a child, we never really have any concept of life behind the scenes.  I myself as a child of the 50's never understood the difficulties of a woman working in a man's world...having to bring home the money and pay the bills.  My mother didn't receive any child support...so basically, she was on her own.  Now, of course it was a fortunate thing that her parents were there to raise me. 
I think that as I grew older, I had a better look at the sacrifices she had made.  She worked very hard and tried to give me all the wonderful things she thought a child should have.  And at Christmas time...it was certainly true.  Although there were plenty of gifts all beautifully wrapped under the tree....the one thing that mom brought home...wasn't really a gift...more of a treat, but as I look back...it was a special Gift.  Each Christmas, mom would walk into the door with this white shiny candy box from Fannie May's  Inside the box was my favorite White Chocolate Almond Bark Candy.  What a treat!  It was that one thing that she seemed to buy for Christmas.  Oh how I loved that chocolate.  I knew it was only for the holiday...so I savored every morsel.  I never bit into it, because chewing it meant it would be gone too quickly.  I would slowly place a piece of that divine chocolate into my mouth and just slowly savor it until its last fragment was melted.  There was nothing in the world that tasted that good! I never realized then that Fanny May was a Chicago based store and it's first shop was opened in 1920 at 11 N. LaSalle St.  During WWII, many other candy shops had to compromise their products...but not Fanny May...they had to close some of their doors, but they refused to lower the standard of their product.  By 1934...Fanny May had opened up 48 shops in the Midwest.  Some of their most known creations were the Pixie, the Trinidad and the Eggnog cream.  Years have gone by....a great deal of changing of hands... In April 2006, Fannie May was sold for $85 million plus an earn out to publicly traded Internet retailer 1-800-Flowers.com. Alpine Confections again tapped investment banker Paragon Capital Partners for this transaction. The chocolates and candy continue to be manufactured in Green, Ohio,, under Fannie May Confections Brands Inc, while their corporate headquarters remains in Chicago. 
Now that I have grown up...I occasionally pass the Fannie May store and it reminds me of those days.  When I was young...I had never realized the costs of that box of candy and how that was a financial treat!  That was not an ordinary candy...it costs a whole lot more than a bag of candy from the grocery store...but mom made a sacrifice somewhere and made sure that I had that box of heavenly delights each year!  I can no longer eat the nuts due to a health issue...and I really shouldn't have the chocolate as well....I am diabetic, but I think this year for Christmas, I may buy a box and send to my granddaughters.  I may sneak a piece out just for me...and in a way, remember mom and her "SWEET" Christmas gesture of love and sacrifice. 

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