N. Stollwerck and the Chocolate Factory
long-time Camden N. J. area residents can recall the wonderful
scent of chocolate perfuming the air along a certain stretch of
Haddon Avenue. If
you were lucky, you may have sampled their delectable products
in the form of foil covered Easter eggs or large chocolate
"bars" packaged in plain yellow/gold boxes given to
visitors and company employees.
But few know the history of the A. N. Stollwerck
chocolate factory once located in a large brick building at
1649-51 Haddon Avenue in Camden, N.J.
Stollwerck chocolate manufacturing empire was founded in Cologne
Germany by Franz Stollwerck.
Franz Stollwerck (1815-1876), a baker, candy maker and
coffee house/vaudeville-type theater owner had 5 sons (Albert
Nicolas, Peter Joseph, Heinrich, Ludwig and Karl) who, beginning
in 1860, gradually took over their father's candy making
business. Conflicts arose between Franz and his sons, resulting
in the sons forming their own company, Gebruder Stollwerck (Stollwerck
Brothers) in November 1871. One of the brothers, Heinrich
Stollwerck, a wealthy and talented inventor, designed and built
his own chocolate processing equipment run on steam power. It is
said he owned a large castle on the Rhine River. Heinrich was
the holder of several patents in the late 19th century for
machinery designed to improve and automate the
candy making business, ease the
handling of cocoa powder, and improve the methods of roasting
coffee and cocoa beans. Heinrich
lost his life tragically in 1915 while adjusting a steam-operated chocolate
blending machine which then exploded and
caused Heinrich to fall into the chocolate and drown.
Heinrich's brother Ludwig was principal owner of the firm
Deutsche Automaten Gesellschaft (DAG) which sold films,
chocolate, cigarettes and toiletries in arcades, train stations,
and other public places via coin-operated machines. These
machines were distributed
as early as 1887. (Ludwig
Stollwerck's company became a non-exclusive distributor of
Edison Kinetoscopes in Central Europe, and later signed an
exclusive distribution contract with the Lumiere Brothers to
show films in halls attached to the arcades that also sold
Stollwerck Bros. chocolate in Stollwerck designed vending
machines.) Ludwig was later appointed an Imperial Counselor of Commerce
the early 20th century, Albert N. Stollwerck (1871-1929), son of
Heinrich Stollwerck, was charged with heading the Stollwerck
Brothers growing chocolate business in America. According to the
book The history of foreign investments in the United
States to 1914 (Mira Wilkins, Harvard University Press,
1989) Stollwerck Brothers at first sold their chocolates in the
U.S. through agents. But in about 1904 they acquired 43 acres in
Stamford, Connecticut and built an American factory to
manufacture chocolate products. As business grew they enlarged
and opened sales offices in New York, Boston, Chicago and San
Francisco. In 1911 Stollwerck Brothers obtained a NJ
incorporation charter in Elizabeth, NJ.
In 1914, a year before his father's death, Albert finally
won a lawsuit against his father for control of the American
business and adoption of modern American manufacturing methods.
The Stollwerck Bros. firm was ordered to pay Albert
Times, January 30, 1914, pg. 11) Several
years prior to 1914, H.A. Cuppy was placed in charge of the
Stamford plant and Albert Stollwerck supposedly retired from
managing the Stamford facilities in 1908.
1900 census shows Hazlitt Alva Cuppy, journalist, and Albert
Stollwerck, candy merchant, as lodgers in the same apartment
building at 23 W. 9th St. in New York City (a neighborhood near
today's Washington Square and NYU). Was this how they first made
their acquaintance? Cuppy's
managerial background was as one time editor of the Public
Opinion, a weekly publication.) Matters regarding the
Stamford plant were further complicated by a 1910 lawsuit (Cuppy
v. Stollwerck Bros.) involving a dispute regarding compensations
owed to Mr. Cuppy. Although
his father and uncles wanted Albert to be barred forever from
engaging in the chocolate business, it was deemed a restraint of
trade and, therefore, illegal.
Albert remained Chairman of the Board of the Brewster
Chocolate Company of New Jersey. As a result of the U.S.
conflict with Germany in World War I, the United States
subsidiary of Stollwerck Brothers Inc. of Stamford Connecticut
was seized and auctioned off in 1918 for $1.5 million to the
Touraine Company of Boston
(NY Times, December 22, 1918).
Post Card image of
the Stollwerck Factory in Stamford, Connecticut
A. N. Stollwerck chocolate factory of Camden, NJ grew from a
manufacturing plant constructed by the Royal Cocoa company between
1915-1918. Albert Stollwerck's passport from 1921 lists his
occupation as Manager of the Royal Cocoa Co. (formerly the
Brewster Cocoa Co.) and his address as 202 Morgan St., Jersey
City, NJ. Mr. Stollwerck became a naturalized citizen of the U.S.
on July 17, 1912 in Hudson County, Jersey City, NJ. It
appears that he never married. A NY Times
article from February 17, 1919 indicates that the Royal Cocoa
Company of Jersey City was destroyed by 2 fires on February 5 and
6, 1917. The company sued their insurance companies for
payment of damages totally just over $510,000. According to the
monthly publication Simmons Spice Mill (Jan. 1918) the Royal Cocoa
Company of Jersey City was able to move some of their equipment
from the destroyed Jersey City facilities to the Camden location.
By mid-1929 the A. N. Stollwerck corporation was formed and
operated at 1649-51 Haddon Avenue in Camden, NJ. A
Certificate of Incorporation was filed on June 4, 1929 listing
Henry M. Wise (Bergen, NJ), J. Cyril Donoghue (Flushing, NJ), and
Hyler Connell (NYC, NY) as associating themselves into a
corporation named A. N. Stollwerck company in the city of Camden,
which was described as a manufacturer and seller of chocolate,
cocoa, cocoa butter and cocoa powders, and all other products of
the cocoa bean. The incorporation papers do not mention
Albert Stollwerck or any other Stollwerck family member as holding
any position in the corporation. By 1931 Charles H. Schumacher
served as the A. N. Stollwerck company's President, Theodore C.
Weygandt, V.P., William F. Heide, Chairman of the Board, Henry M.
Wise, Treasurer and Secretary, and Edwin Knust, Assistant
Treasurer. According to a 1970 interview conducted by
Suburban newspaper (Cherry Hill, NJ) reporter Edith Blez, Charles
Schumacher was educated in Germany and France and thoroughly
understood the chocolate business. (Company letterhead
indicates that the A. N. Stollwerck of Camden was established in
1872, most likely as an acknowledgement of the date when the
Stollwerck brothers founded their own company "Gebruder
Stollwerck" or "Stollwerck Brothers.") A. N.
Stollwerck, Inc. of Camden supplied bulk chocolate and cocoa
products to large retailers such as Tasty Baking Co. ("Tastykakes"),
Whitmans Chocolate, and Howard Johnsons, and smaller, family
owned companies that sold hand dipped candies such as Bayard's and
Hankins Fudge (Wildwood).
N. Stollwerck, one time head of the American branch of Stollwerck Bros.
Chocolate, died of a heart attack on the beach of Cape May, NJ on August
25, 1929. A NY Times obituary lists his age as 60 years and his address as
1553 Haddon Avenue, Camden, NJ. (NOTE: that address number may have
been a typographical error.) Mr. Stollwerck had fallen ill while bathing
off the shores of Cape May and was carried to shore by several other
bathers, but could not be revived. He was apparently alone at the beach
for the coroner had to identify him by the contents of his wallet. The
obituary further acknowledges him as the general manager of the Royal
Cocoa Company of Camden, NJ and founder of the American branch his
family's business. The obituary also notes that Mr. Stollwerck
joined the Brewster Chocolate Company of New Jersey and became the
chairman of the board of directors there after the breach with his father
and the subsequent law suits. (According to the history of Wilbur
Chocolate Co. of Lititz, PA, in 1927 Brewster Chocolate Company of Newark,
NJ merged with the Ideal Cocoa & Chocolate Company (formerly called
Kendig Chocolate Co. of Lititz, PA) to become the Brewster-Ideal Chocolate
Company. Today's Wilbur Chocolate Factory and Museum, constructed circa
1902 on Broad St. in Lititz, PA, is the original building of Kendig/Ideal.)
connection to the A. N. Stollwerck company is through my grandfather
Edward F. Schaeffer, A. N. Stollwerck chocolate factory plant manager in
Camden N.J. from 1943 until his retirement from the company in 1958.
Born in Tilzit Germany in 1893, my grandfather's people were farmers and
shopkeepers. He emigrated (unaccompanied) to the U.S. in 1912. My
grandfather lived for a while in Jersey City and Secaucus but by 1920 he
resided on Mechanic Street in Camden and is listed on the U.S. census as a
"foreman" in a "cocoa factory." Although I have
no proof of this, perhaps my grandfather was involved with the Royal Cocoa
business in Jersey City and then came to Camden when the firm moved its
operations to Camden. This means that he was employed by A. N.
Stollwerck for about 30 years, but probably in the "chocolate
business" for close to 40 years. (My mother also worked at A.
N. Stollwerck as a secretary in 1941, but left Stollwerck after only about
1 year for employment with R.C.A.) Through our family history I
recall that my grandfather was one of only two or three employees who knew
the "secret recipe" for Stollwerck's chocolate, and that he had
a very high regard for Mr. Schumacher. Our history also includes the story
that my grandfather came up with a way to prevent the chocolate icing from
sticking to the paper covering of Tastykakes. I grew up with an almost
nonchalant acceptance that we always had an abundance of chocolate in our
home which we gave as gifts to teachers, friends and family. I also
recall my grandfather's criticisms of cheaper chocolate candy that he
described as "waxy." Only as an adult did I come to
appreciate that indeed there are discernable differences (what I've heard
chocolate connoisseurs describe as "mouth feel") between
high quality chocolate and the cheaper brands.
N. Stollwerck, Inc. Letterhead (circa 1970)
of A. N. Stollwerck, Inc., Camden, NJ Chocolate Mold at the Wilbur
Chocolate Museum, Lititz, PA.
By the 1970's Edward T. Eastwick of Haddonfield NJ,
son-in-law of Charles Schumacher, served as company president.
(Charles Schumacher died in the mid-1950s.) Perhaps due to rising
wholesale sugar and cocoa bean prices in the mid-1970s, the company faced
financial hardship. Sale
of the A. N. Stollwerck company of Camden, NJ began in May 1975 and was
finalized in June 1976 with stockholders approving the sale of all
machinery and equipment to Union Confectionery Machinery Company of New
York for $151,000. On January
19, 1978, stockholders approved the sale of the 28,000 sq. ft. land and
the Stollwerck buildings located thereon for $110,000 to the Black Peoples
Movement-Economic Development Corporation of Camden, NJ.
The property changed hands several times, including ownership by
the Shanahan Freight company sometime in the 1980s (See Photo
below.) By 1995, the property was owned by Lourdes Ancillary
Services and is now used as a parking lot. The buildings have since been
N. Stollwerck died just 2 months after the incorporation of the A. N.
Stollwerck chocolate factory in Camden.
For about 45 years after his death the company bearing his name
continued the family tradition of creating high quality chocolate... for
many of those years produced under the watchful eye of my grandfather.
In 2002 Barry Callebaut AG acquired the Stollwerck brand
headquartered in Cologne, Germany and founded by Franz Stollwerck.
Along with their cocoa bean roasting facilities in Eddystone, PA,
Barry Callebaut now operates a chocolate manufacturing plant with a
chocolate-innovation lab on Suckle Highway in Pennsauken, NJ. Therefore,
it could be said that, once again, Stollwerck chocolate "flows"
from southern New Jersey to chocolate candy producers and bakers across
you have any photographs, memorabilia or information concerning the A. N.
Stollwerck chocolate factory in Camden, NJ, please contact Sandy White-Grear
A. N. Stollwerck Factory, 1649-51 Haddon Ave., Camden, NJ (then
owned by Shanahan Freight Co.)
1649-51 Haddon Ave., Camden, NJ
is a parking lot for Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital
Schumacher, President, A. N. Stollwerck, Camden, NJ (photo circa 1940-50)
Eastwick (left) and Edward Schaeffer at A. N. Stollwerck
(photo circa 1958)
Schaeffer (center) and unidentified employees at A. N. Stollwerck (circa
N. Stollwerck employees, Retirement Party for Edward F. Schaeffer (not