Local Chocolate Tradition–100 years of Sweets for your Sweetie

rocaDid you know that Brown & Haley, the manufacturer of Almond Roca® is a Washington company that has been in business 100 years? Brown & Haley is the third largest maker of boxed chocolates in the United States and its yummy candy is sold in more than 63 countries.

My Mom’s favorite candy was Almond Roca® and the familiar pink tin was a gift giving staple in our house. It wasn’t until I moved to Port Orchard that I learned it was made in Tacoma.  Upon further research, I was discouraged to find that the plant wasn’t open for tours.  Housed in the same downtown Tacoma  building since 1919, the chocolate factory is not set up for public viewing.  The chocolatier has a long and fascinating history, and OUTLET STORES; both things Mom would have truly appreciated.

IMG_0676The proximity of the factory to the Camp Lewis military base provided the initial market for what started out as the “Mt.Tacoma” bar, now the Mountain® Bar.  Almond Roca® was created in 1923 and became a big hit at the base. The later introduction of the pink tin in 1927 expanded  the shelf life of the buttercrunch toffees and Brown & Haley signed a contract with the US War Department to ship Almond Roca® to overseas military personnel.  This is how much of the world was introduced to Mountain® Bar and the buttercrunch confection that now comes in the flavors of mocha, cashew, dark, macadamia, candy cane and sugar free.

brown and haleyTo learn more about the history of Brown & Haley, visit their website www.brown-haley.com and check out the two outlet stores–one in Fife and one in Tacoma to get some great deals on chocolates for Valentine’s Day or for mailing to out of state friends for other occasions.  The best bargains are the “manufacturing bloopers” or “boo-boos” which are what they call the chocolates that came off the processing line looking less than perfect, but that still taste divine–those go in our freezer for home enjoyment.

© Colleen Miko, 2013

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About Colleen Miko

Colleen Miko is a certified professional horticulturist with 20 years experience in landscape design who has designed award winning gardens for the NW Flower & Garden Show as well as HGTV’s “Landscaper’s Challenge”. Colleen is a freelance garden writer and speaker who regularly writes "The Perennial Bookworm" where she reviews garden and natural science books, as well as a regular contributor to "WestSound Home & Garden Magazine" on a variety of horticulture topics.
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