The History of Laura Secord Chocolates



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Laura Secord Chocolates

Laura Secord logo




Chocolate and other confectionery




Frank P. O'Connor


Mississauga, Ontario, Canada


Jean and Jacques Leclerc



Laura Secord Official site


Laura Secord is a Canadian chocolatier, confectionery, and ice cream company that was founded in 1913 by Frank P. O'Connor with first store on Yonge Street in Toronto.[1] It was named after the Canadian heroine of the War of 1812, Laura Secord.




Contents  []

1 Ownership 1.1 Foreign owners 1983-2010

1.2 Laura Secord returns to Canada

2 Laura Secord today

3 References

4 External links




The company is owned by Jean and Jacques Leclerc, two well known brothers in the food industry in Quebec City. The Leclercs own Nutriart, a company devoted to chocolate production. Nutriart is a former division of Biscuits Leclerc.

Founded by O'Connor, it was known as Laura Secord  Store and Fanny Farmer  Stores in the US. In 1969 it was sold by the O'Connor family to John Labatt Limited and remained in Canadian hands until 1983.[1]

Foreign owners 1983-2010[]

Laura Secord was owned by British owned Rowntree Mackintosh Confectionery of York, England, which acquired it in 1980s. Rowntree Macintosh's successor, Nestle's Canadian unit, sold it in 1998[2] to Archibald  Corporation of Chicago,[3] which then sold it to Gordon Brothers LLC of Boston in 2004.[4]

Laura Secord returns to Canada[]

It was acquired by Jean and Jacques Leclerc of Quebec in 2010.[5]

Laura Secord today[]

As of 2010, it has 112 retail outlets throughout the country. It has offices in Mississauga, Ontario, and Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

Laura Secord chocolates are manufactured in Canada. Retail outlets selling individual and premade boxes of chocolates, and ice cream, are located throughout Canada. In 2004 there were 174 outlets with a staff of 1,600.[3]




1. a b McClearn, Matthew (April 7, 2011). "Laura Secord comes home". Canadian Business. Retrieved January 29, 2015.

2.  "Nestle Canada to sell Laura Secord".  Industry 163 (11): 9. November 1998. Retrieved January 29, 2015.

3. a b "Laura Secord up for sale". CBC News. April 22, 2003. Retrieved January 29, 2015.

4. "Laura Secord is sold to Gordon Brothers". Refrigerated Transported. August 26, 2004. Retrieved January 29, 2015.

5."Laura Secord sold: report". Toronto Sun. February 18, 2010. Retrieved January 29, 2015.


External links[]

Laura Secord Official site

Nutriart Official site

   Categories: Chocolate companies

Companies established in 1913

Food companies of Canada

Canadian confectionery

Companies based in Mississauga

Ice cream brands

Ice cream parlors

1913 establishments in Ontario




Fannie May



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Redirected from Archibald  Corporation)





For the Federal National Mortgage Association, see Fannie Mae. For the blues/r&b song, see Fannie Mae (song).


Fannie May is a brand of chocolates owned by 1-800-Flowers. Between 2004 and 2006, the brand was run by Fannie May Confections, Inc., a confectioner based in Chicago.[1]


Contents  []

1 History

2 References

3 Further reading

4 External links





H. Teller Archibald opened the first Fannie May shop in 1920 at 11 N. LaSalle St. in Chicago. By 1935, there were nearly four dozen shops in Illinois and several neighboring states. During World War II, while other companies chose to change their recipes when ingredients were scarce, Fannie May stuck with its exact recipes, making only what it could. Often that meant closing shops early because no more  was available, but never was the taste of the  compromised. It was his vision to create delicious tasting, handcrafted chocolates. By 1934, Fannie May had opened 48 stores in Illinois and its surrounding states in the Midwest.[2]


In 1946, just after World War II, Fannie May created its most well-known  to date, the Pixie. In the 1970s and 1980s Fannie May continued to develop new  flavors with the introduction of the Trinidad in 1970 possibly their most well known , and the creation of the Eggnog Creams in 1989. In 1991, Fannie May made the decision to make some of their  with sugar-free chocolate, which made it available to diabetics and dieters.


Fanny May stores shared a look that was similar to that of Fanny Farmer.[3][4]


In 1992, Fannie May bought similarly-named competitor Fanny Farmer[5]—making it the largest (most stores)  retailer in the United States—which was a prelude to the company's bankruptcy.[6]


During the 1990s and early 2000s, under the ownership of a private equity firm, Archibald  not only expanded Fannie May and Fanny Farmer's store base, but also acquired Canadian icon Laura Secord as well as The Sweet Factory. By 2002, Archibald  had 412 company-operated stores (197 Fannie May, 45 Fanny Farmer and 170 Laura Secord) in 18 states in the U.S., and 9 provinces in Canada. Archibald  products were distributed in approximately 8,000 third-party retail outlets nationwide. Archibald 's primary manufacturing operations were located in Chicago, Illinois at that time.


Overburdened by approximately $170 million of debt,[2] Archibald  defaulted on its loans and filed for bankruptcy in June 2002.[6] After implementing a restructuring plan and emerging from bankruptcy, Archibald again defaulted on its debt by early 2003 and ultimately filed for bankruptcy protection a second time in two years.


At that time, Archibald's Board of Directors decided to pursue a sale of the company's businesses. The company hired Michael Levy of New York-based investment bank Paragon Capital Partners who facilitated a restructuring and then orchestrated sale transactions of Fannie May Confections and Laura Secord under Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The divestiture of Archibald ’s Fannie May and Fannie Farmer businesses culminated in an open outcry auction with more than 200 participants representing 40+ qualified bidders,[7] ultimately won by Utah-based Alpine Confections. The cross-border sale of Canadian chocolate icon Laura Secord also culminated in an open-outcry auction, won by private equity firms Gordon Brothers and EG Capital, and represented one of the first 363-style auction processes and integrated cross-border court processes in Canada (including joint proceedings by video-conference).[8]


After purchasing Fannie May (and Fanny Farmer) from Archibald , Alpine Confections moved production to the company's Green, Ohio-based Harry London Candies, which had been purchased by Alpine Confections a year earlier, hoping to make a profit with the history of the confectionery's brand and reopened it in October 2004.[9] Led by entrepreneurs R. Taz Murray and David Taiclet, the integration of this acquisition was highly successful.


In April 2006, Fannie May was sold for $85 million plus an earn out to publicly traded Internet retailer 1-800-Flowers.com.[10] Alpine Confections again tapped investment banker Paragon Capital Partners for this transaction.[11] The chocolates and  continue to be manufactured in Green, Ohio, under Fannie May Confections Brands Inc, while their corporate headquarters remains in Chicago, Illinois.


Laura Secord, a legendary figure



While most Canadians know that Laura Secord was a wartime hero, few know her story of bravery and courage.


It all began during the War of 1812 in the region of Queenston, now known as the Niagara Peninsula. Laura’s husband James was a sergeant in the militia; when he went missing after a battle, Laura searched for him among the dead and wounded in the battlefield. She found him bleeding from gunshot wounds and helped him home where she treated his injuries.


During James’s convalescence, the war continued, and the region was captured by enemy troops. However, neither the Americans nor the British had firm control. One day in June 1813, American officers went to the Secord home and requested dinner. As she served them, Laura listened carefully as they discussed plans to launch a surprise attack on the British outpost at DeCew House, which was under Lieutenant James Fitzgibbon’s command.


The Secords, who had remained loyal to the British Crown and dedicated to the defence of the colony, knew that Fitzgibbon must be warned of the imminent attack – failing which, the Niagara Peninsula as a whole would fall to the Americans. As James was disabled due to his wounds and unable to walk, Laura took it upon herself to make the trek to DeCew House.


At dawn the next day, Laura began her 32-kilometre journey, which would require 18 hours. The roads she walked on led to the home of her sister-in-law where her half-brother lay ill in bed – a circumstance that would serve as an explanation for Laura’s journey should American patrols ask questions. When she arrived, Laura revealed the true purpose of her mission. Her niece Elizabeth offered to accompany her.


Now avoiding the main roads, Laura and Elizabeth chose a difficult path along the course of Twelve Mile Creek, which flowed past DeCew House. Elizabeth, however, was not endowed with her aunt’s stamina; after tramping through fields and woods, she collapsed, leaving Laura to complete the most hazardous part of the journey alone. In the evening, Laura arrived hungry and exhausted at a Native camp and persuaded the chief to take her to British headquarters. Once there, she alerted the Lieutenant of the surprise attack.


Two days later, on June 24, 1813, British and Native troops intercepted the Americans and forced their surrender at the Battle of Beaver Dams. In 1814, the peace treaty came into effect, and the border between the United States and Canada has never seen hostility since.


Although Laura Secord received 100 pounds from England’s Prince of Wales in 1860, many years would elapse before her brave feat was recognized as an act of heroism. After her death, two monuments were erected in her memory: one was built by the Government of Canada in Queenston; and the other by the Ontario Historical Society at Lundy’s Lane.







Opening of the first shop in Toronto by founder Frank P. O’Connor.




Expansion to Winnipeg. Pharmacies began carrying Laura Secord products.




The number of stores in Ontario and Quebec grew to 96. Laura Secord was now firmly established as a family tradition and was renowned for its high-quality products and customer service. The company launched new packaging, updated its cameo logo, improved merchandising techniques, and increased production capacity.




Expansion continued. By 1969, there were Laura Secord shops from coast to coast, and sales exceeded $20 million. Ault Foods Limited (John Labatt Limited) of London, Ontario, purchased Laura Secord. The original Laura Secord homestead in Queenston, Ontario, was purchased and converted into a tourist attraction commemorating Laura Secord’s courage and dedication.




Ice cream was launched in selected stores and retail outlets. The Toronto and Kitchener production plants were closed, with production transferred to Scarborough, Ontario.




In 1983, Rowntree MacIntosh Corporation, based in England, purchased Laura Secord from John Labatt Limited. As a result of the Rowntree Group’s chocolate-making expertise, productivity and profitability increased. In 1988, Nestlé S.A. purchased the Rowntree Corporation, thereby acquiring Laura Secord.




In 1999, Archibald  Corporation of Chicago purchased Laura Secord from Nestlé. As a result, Laura Secord joined a large family of specialty retail banners in North America that included Fannie May, Fanny Farmer, and Sweet Factory.




Archibald sold Laura Secord to private equity investment groups in the United States, Gordon Brothers Group, LLC and EG Capital Group, as well as Fonds de solidarité FTQ, based in Montreal.




Quebec City businessmen Jean and Jacques Leclerc purchased Laura Secord from the American investment groups and Fonds de solidarité FTQ. Today, the company operates over 120 stores across Canada.







1.^ Smith, Andrew F., or; Marton, Renee (May 1, 2007). The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink. Oxford Companions (Hardcover) (1st ed.) (Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press). p. 213. ISBN 0195307968. ISBN 978-0195307962. Retrieved August 4, 2014.

2.^ to: a b "History of Chocolate". Fannie May. Retrieved August 4, 2014.

3.^ Goddard, Leslie (August 27, 2012). Chicago's Sweet  History. Images of America (Paperback) (Charleston, S.C: Arcadia Publishing). p. 115. ISBN 0738593826. ISBN 978-0738593821. Retrieved August 4, 2014.

4.^ Compare, Matson, Marci (October 21, 2011). "Photo Friday: Fanny Farmer, 50th and France" (photo). Edina County Historical Society. Retrieved August 4, 2014.

5.^ Morrell, Alan (April 19, 2014). "Whatever Happened To ... Fanny Farmer ?". Democrat & Chronicle (Rochester,New York: Gannett). Retrieved August 1, 2014.

6.^ to: a b Schmeltzer, John (February 26, 2004). "Series of mistakes doomed maker: Some blame owner, strategy, but other causes listed too". Chicago Tribune (Articles.chicagotribune.com/). Retrieved August 3, 2014.

7.^ [1][dead link]

8.^ Business Wire (2004-08-25). "Paragon Capital Partners Completes Sale of Laura Secord". Business Wire. Retrieved 2012-03-07.

9.^ "Alpine Confections Awarded Fannie May and Fanny Farmer Brands". Gourmetretailer.com. Retrieved 2013-04-22.

10.^ "Paragon Capital Partners Completes Sale of Fannie May Confections Brands, Inc. to... - re> NEW YORK, May 2 /PRNewswire/". New York: Prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2012-03-07.

11.^ "Transactions of the Year Put Dealmakers in the Spotlight at TMA Annual Convention — Turnaround Management Association". Turnaround.org. Retrieved 2012-03-07.




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