Just Born Quality Confections marks US trading centenary
David Shaffer and Ross Born with the PEEPSMOBILE. Pic: Just Born.
US-founded Just Born Quality Confections has kicked-off celebrations for the company’s centenary year in 2023 with its well-established Peepsfest brand event in Pennsylvania, writes Neill Barston.
As the company noted, less than one per cent of all family-owned companies in America have made it to the momentous milestone, with the company particularly honoured by the occasion.
The third-generation family-owned candy manufacturer, which is behind key regional brands such as Peeps, Mike and Ike, Hot Tamales, and Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews, offered thanks to its employees and local community in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Sadly, just as the company notes its historic anniversary, the business has confirmed that Ira “Bob” Born passed away peacefully on the morning of January 29, at the age of 98. He was the son of the company’s founder Sam Born, and joined the company in 1945 after World War II where he honourably served in the Navy. As the company noted, he had devoted his life to Just Born and the science and process of candy making.
“Just Born is humbled to have reached this huge milestone in our company’s history,” said Co-Chief Executive Officer David Shaffer (pictured in main image with the company’s Ross Born) “We cannot overstate how grateful we are for all who have been a part of Just Born’s story throughout the years. Looking forward to the next century, our goal remains the same – to bring sweetness to people’s lives through the family traditions and beloved memories that fans create with our brands.”
Celebrations kicked off at the 14th Peepsfest New Year’s festival in Bethlehem, PA, as Just Born ushered in its 100th anniversary with sweet style – a 400lb Chick drop! To keep the festivities going throughout the year, the company is launching a 100 Random Acts of Sweetness program.
Fans across the Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia can look forward to Just Born stopping into various locations all year long to surprise and delight them with prizes like candy, gift cards, and more. In addition, Just Born is working with local organisations to invest in educating and empowering the future manufacturing workforce.
Just Born first opened its doors when founder Sam Born opened a small retail store and factory in Brooklyn, NY in 1923. He produced a fresh line of candy daily and declared the candies, “Just Born.” The company relocated to Bethlehem, PA during the height of the depression in 1932.
Together with Born’s brothers-in-law, Irv and Jack Shaffer, the company thrived and, in 1932, moved its operations to Bethlehem, PA where it has grown to become one of the largest candy companies in the US by giving back to the community, being good environmental stewards and creating a positive culture for the business.