(WHTM) — Hershey’s Chocolate was founded in Pennsylvania back in the 1900s and is synonymous when people talk about the state. But did you know this other company was founded in the state as well?
Gertrude Hawk Chocolates was founded by a woman named Gertrude Jones Hawk. Hawk started working at a candy shop in Scranton back in 1915 after the death of her father. It was there she learned the art of chocolate making.
In 1936, during the middle of the Great Depression, Hawk took her love and passion for chocolate and started her own business. Gertrude Hawk Chocolates began in the kitchen of her Scranton home. She and her husband would sell chocolates from their home and provide chocolates for church fundraisers.
The company’s first retail store, factory, and restaurant were built in the early 1960s, which was located in Dunmore, Pennsylvania. In 1971, Gertrude’s son Elmer and his family joined the family business. Elmer and his son David formed a partnership and David decided to take the company in a different direction.
In the 1980s, the company expanded outside of northeastern Pennsylvania. This was also a time when the Smidgen was born. These became the company’s signature chocolates.
In the next few decades, the company began to grow and expand in New Jersey and New York as well as all throughout Pennsylvania. The company offers fundraising programs for organizations. Gertrude Hawk also has a foundation, the Hawk Family Foundation. Its goal is to improve the quality of people’s lives through health, human services, education, and arts.
Hawk passed away in 1987, however, the company remains, with more than 60 stores throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.
The company sells season treats for Christmas and Easter as well as chocolate-dipped apples, chocolate boxes, and other assorted confections.