Brachs Candy Company

Brachs Candy Company

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The Chicago plant of the Brachs Candy Factory was the largest candy factory in the country.  At its height it employed 3700 people.  In 1925, not long after opening the West Side facility, Brachs sales grew to 7.9 million dollars.  Brachs’ line of assorted sweets reached 250 types of candy by 1959.  In the early 1980s, Brachs share of the overall candy market shriveled. Brachs went up for sale in 1987 and the company was purchased by a Swedish corporation led by Klaus Jacobs. His leadership proved disastrous as he fired experienced workers by the hundreds.  Many proposals were organized in hopes of saving the factory and jobs.  Jacobs refused to accept any of them and closed Brachs in late 2003.  Although many have suggested turning the 2.3 acre facility into a historical site, its current advance state of decay may make it impossible.  The factory is a virtual death trap that has claimed the life of at least one junk salvager. Since 2008 there has been a movement to demolish the Brach factory and redeveloping—which appears to be the inevitable end to a sweet era. 


2 Responses to “Brachs Candy Company”

  1. simcousy Says:

    Old buildings get no respect whatsoever, whether they’re large industrial spaces like you have here or residential buildings I am decrying here in Barcelona. Only “in vogue” architecture gets restored these days, like art deco or art nouveau. I have never been to Chicago but I imagine there are tons of places which could be saved if contractors and their clients had a heart. Keep holding a candle for these gems!

  2. My Uncle was a carpentry foreman who worked on the Brachs addition back in the 60’s. It’s sad to see what happened there!

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