Photo courtesy of Chris Candies
By Alyse Horn
It can’t compete with Willy Wonka, but Chris Candies in Spring Garden has made notable strides in the chocolate business.
For one, it was the first company in the United States to process organic chocolate. Open 24 hours a day, employee’s process liquid tankers of 45,000 lbs. of chocolate. The company works with both domestic and international chocolate companies.
Recently the company was sought after and sold to French chocolate company Cemoi, which was looking to enter the US.
“It’s a very good match for both companies,” said Tim Rogers, Chris Candies vice president of sales. He said no employees lost their jobs due to the transition, and that is was a “very good acquisition.”
Chris Candies already had a lot of business internationally and with many brands that would be considered household names, but because of confidentially reasons those companies cannot be disclosed, Rogers said.
“You’ve probably eaten a lot of chocolate that was made right here in Pittsburgh.”
Rogers said George Christ (pronounced Krist) founded the business 75 years ago and “lopped off the “T” from his last name when creating the company as to not be confused with the big guy upstairs.
The business began in Oakland, but moved to Spring Garden in 1968 and Christ sold the company in 1985 to a group of investors.
“They had it for 32 years,” Rogers said, who was the former President of the company before Cemoi purchased it on March 1. “It’s one of those things that has worked out well for everybody.”