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Choward’s Fine Mints & Gum Celebrates 90 Years!



We welcome you to the charming world of confectionery nostalgia, where the air is sweet with the scent of violet and the taste of cherished memories from yesteryear. For nearly a century, the C. Howard Company, or Choward’s has captivated taste buds and hearts alike with their signature violet-flavored mints and gum.

Now, as Choward’s Fine Mints and Gum are gearing up for their 90th anniversary celebration in May 2024, we’d like to raise a minty toast to celebrate nine decades of delighting candy lovers around the globe! Join us as we look back through time, exploring the everlasting appeal of Choward’s fine mints and gum, and the legacy they've lovingly crafted – one sweet moment at a time.

At Redstone Foods, we love to bask in the sweet nostalgia that carries through the history of confections who’s enjoyment has spanned through multiple generations. In the world of retro candy, few treats are quite as unique as Chowards Violet Mints. Many of you might not have even heard of these ultra-fresh breath mints before, but if you have, odds are that you know their refreshing, floral flavor quite well!

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Choward’s violet mints are one of those sweet treats that you’re either all-in for, or you could go without. There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of in between. But for the people who love them, they really, and I mean really do love them!

C. Howard’s Humble Beginnings

Charles Howard first invented his Choward’s violet mints in 1934 and produced them in a small industrial loft in Manhattan, New York. He would sell them from a small pushcart around the streets of NYC with his wife by his side. His inspiration to create the Violet Mints came out of a desire to create a “unique and different candy” during the Great Depression.

This quickly became a successful venture, and Mr. Howard began to think of new types of candy he could create to compliment his popular violet-flavored mint candy. He came up with a purple-colored gum tablet and named it Choward’s Scented Gum. This came at just the right time, as many chewing gum brands, like Wrigley, Topps, and Bazooka were experiencing phenomenal success in the early American confectionary industry.

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This gum was perfect for igniting people’s senses as it was bursting with its unique blend of fragrances, creating a refreshing flavor that is hard to beat! Today, this product is made using the exact same recipe as it was back then, so each piece serves as a throwback to simpler times. Choward's violet mints and gum have become one of those timeless candy favorites, that has been cherished by multiple generations for their unique and delightful flavor experience.

Choward’s Expansion and Innovation

As the years passed, the C. Howard Company continued to innovate and expand its product line. From the introduction of peppermints, spearmints, and lemon-flavored mints in the following decades, the company's offerings have grown to cater to a diverse range of tastes and preferences.

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Upon Charles Howard’s passing, a long-time company employee, Elizabeth Juhase stepped up to continue operations. In the 1970’s she enlisted the help of her nephews, Ken and Arthur Pratz and they have been a family-run business ever since.

In 2009, Michael Pratz added a modern twist with the introduction of Guava Tropical Candy, further solidifying Chowards' reputation for delivering unique and delicious treats.

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In October of 2022, the vintage candy company took yet another innovative step forward and introduced Chowards mints and candies that were individually wrapped and packaged in a peg bag for modern convenience.

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Yet, the shiny foil wrappers of their classic packaging, which have become synonymous with the brand, have remained unchanged, serving as a visual reminder of the company's timeless appeal. This dedication to consistency has earned the company a loyal following and has certainly contributed to its enduring success across generations.

The connection between generations is at the cornerstone of the company’s long-lasting success. For many of Choward’s die hard customers, the smell might remind them of their father’s car, or their grandmother’s purse. For many, just the smell of these mints and candies brings them back to vivid memories of notable moments from their childhoods.

Choward’s recognizes this appeal and have come to the realization that its loyal customers have only ever wanted two things: keep the original recipe and flavor, and never change the square, shiny purple and silver packaging. But they have also grown to recognize the importance of adapting to evolving consumer preferences.

Introducing their mints and candy in peg bags represents a strategic move toward accommodating the growing trend of smaller portion sizes and expanding their reach to more candy shops worldwide. Offering their mints and candy in peg bags is just one step towards meeting consumer demand and has granted their products the flexibility to reach more customers in more candy stores around the world.

Choward’s Lasting Impact on Pop Culture & American Society

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Choward's Fine Mints and Gum have left an indelible mark on American life and pop culture, with numerous notable mentions and celebrity endorsements over the years. From television shows to literature, the brand has certainly found its way into the hearts and minds of audiences worldwide.

In Sarah Weeks' coming-of-age novel "So B. It" published in 2004, Choward's made a cameo appearance as the main character journeys across the United States to uncover the secrets of her parent’s past. Additionally, the indie pop band La Musique Populaire featured their rendition of the jingle "C. Howard’s Gum Has the Power of Taste" on their album A Century of Song, which pays a quick twenty second homage to the brand's iconic status.

Popular television shows have also embraced Choward's products. In an episode of NCIS, Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo reminisces about a past case while encountering Choward's Scented Gum at a crime scene. In The Marvelous Ms. Maisel, you can see a pack of Choward’s products on a newsstand in the 1950’s. Choward’s old fashioned candies have also made numerous appearances in AMC's hit series Mad Men.

In another interesting tidbit of movie history, the company provided a couple of cases of their Violet Mints for the production of the cinematic masterpiece "The Godfather" in 1971. Unfortunately, they were so popular with the cast and crew, that they all got eaten before filming started so they didn’t make it into the film! But the company did receive a nice thank you note from the movie’s producers.

Choward's has even graced the pages of Oprah Magazine in 2012, garnering a mention from one of the most influential figures in modern media. These instances of celebrity endorsements and product placements are just one more reminder of the lasting impact Choward's Fine Mints and Gum have had on our society.

Choward’s Looks Towards the Future with Exciting New Growth Opportunities!

As Choward's celebrates its 90th anniversary and reflects on its illustrious past, the company eagerly sets its sights on a promising future filled with new opportunities and expansion. With a commitment to tradition and quality, Choward's is destined to continue delighting candy lovers around the world for generations to come.

Having established a presence in markets as far-reaching as Bermuda and Puerto Rico, Choward's is now setting its sights on Europe, with plans to expand into the European market by the end of 2024. Additionally, the company is actively working with trade partners to establish their place in the candy markets of Mexico, Central America, and South America, further solidifying its global footprint.

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Choward's enduring success was elevated by its partnership with Redstone Foods, which played a pivotal role in expanding the brand's reach across specialty candy retailers in the United States. Since the early 2000s, Redstone Foods has been instrumental in helping Choward's gain access to new markets and connect with a diverse array of consumers.

In celebrating their 90th anniversary this month, Choward's has prepared commemorative t-shirts to mark this significant milestone. These exclusive shirts and other candy gifts will be distributed at their company’s booth during the Sweets & Snacks Expo in Indianapolis, inviting attendees to join in celebrating nine decades of confectionery excellence.

With a bright future on the horizon and a commitment to delivering quality confections, Choward's remains steadfast in its mission to spread joy and sweetness to candy lovers everywhere, one violet mint at a time.

Ready to stock your store shelves with Choward’s premium, old-fashioned candies and mints? Contact us today or sign up for an account online! At Redstone Foods, we're proud to be America’s favorite candy distributor!