Let’s return to the thrilling days of yesteryear to learn about the origin of the Rocky Road candy bar. Rocky Road candy bars were the creation of candy maker, Sam Altshuler, a Russian immigrant who came to America in 1917. Mr. Altshuler learned the art of candy making, and after years of perfecting his recipe in the family kitchen, he found success with the Rocky Road candy bar in 1950.
Small Start – Big Finish
Altshuler quickly opened the Annabelle Candy Company (naming it after his only daughter, Annabelle) and began manufacturing candy in San Francisco, CA, later moving to Hayward, CA, across the Bay. His Rocky Road candy bar was the first candy bar produced. Mr. Altshuler started selling it off of a pushcart in front of movie theaters on Market Street in San Francisco causing it to gain popularity rapidly.
Today, it is currently ranked one of the best selling candy bars on the West Coast; and is the best selling candy bar for the Annabelle Company, with about 7 million Rocky Road bars being sold a year. The candy bars come in Original, Dark Chocolate and Mint Chocolate flavors. And at one time, long ago, they had a Butterscotch version of Rocky Road.
What Makes the Rocky Road Bar So Popular?
The classic, hallowed, handmade recipe that started the company is still used today. The Octopus, a machine invented by Mr. Altshuler, has been cutting the bars perfectly for over 50 years. The recipe’s mouth-watering ingredients of milk chocolate, cashews, marshmallow and vanilla are layered together to perfection to make the Rocky Road so popular. And granddaughter, Susan Karl, (Annabelle’s daughter) who now manages the day-to-day operations of the company as President and Chief Executive Officer, admits the secret ingredient of malted milk crisps added to the outer chocolate-cashew layer are what gives the bar its extra crunch.
Daughter Annabelle, who is now in her 70’s, is still involved in running the company. She recalls how when the factory first opened her father had to remove his shoes before entering their home because they always had marshmallow all over them. Annabelle Candy Company and its first creation, Rocky Road Candy Bar, both celebrated their 60th Anniversary in 2010. And the taste of success of that marshmallow recipe being perfected for years over a hot kitchen stove by Annabelle’s father has never been sweeter.
Annabelle Candy Company, Inc.
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