About 90 years ago, a Russian immigrant, Sam Born, started a company out of a Brooklyn, New York storefront. He was a candy maker, and he always touted the freshness of his products. Today, his company makes one particular candy that is still very popular. It’s the candy that every Easter morning, children will run to their easter baskets with all the joy of a child getting a new bike on Christmas. They are a spongy confection made of sugar, corn syrup, and gelatin. People do all sorts of thing with them, but traditionally they are given out on Easter, and if you didn’t get some in your Easter Basket, well, it just wasn’t Easter. I of course am talking about “Peeps”.
Peeps are “the” candy of Easter, and has been for more than 60 years. It’s the candy that you can do anything with from deep frying , to roasting them on a stick. But the best way to eat them I think is just right out of the box. Adults still enjoy the confection because nothing can take you way back memory wise like reaching into a box of Peeps. They come in pink and the well known yellow, and are shaped like “chicks” or “bunnies”. They are so popular that in 2013, they got an ad on television, the first ad in a decade.
Just Born Inc. is located 60 miles north of Philadelphia, and makes about 5 million Peeps a day according to third generation operator Ross Born. He has termed a phrase for people who not only eat the Peeps, but like to play around with them like an edible toy, “peepsonality”. The company is called “Just Born Inc” because his grandfather was proud of the freshness of his candy, and last Easter, they produced 1 billion of the spongy delights for Easter. They had their best year financially in 2012, but since the company is privately held, It does not disclose revenue. When the company moved north to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in 1953, it acquired the Peeps brand from the Rodda Candy Company of Lancaster, Pennsylvania who’s claim to fame had been their jelly beans.
So wherever you are remember Easter is just around the corner, and heaven forbid you don’t get your box of Peeps. You’ll be the only one without a box. Oh, did I mention, they’re big on Christmas also.
Photo courtesy of wikimediacommons.com