Campbell’s Confections started as a small family-owned business in 1950 in Grove City, Pennsylvania. William Campbell opened his store to provide fine chocolates for area residents. He made his confections using recipes and techniques handed down from his family for three generations. All ingredients were of the highest quality available. William believed that creating quality chocolate was critical to the success of his company.
The popularity of Campbell’s Chocolates grew quickly and within five years, the company added four retail stores in neighboring counties. In 1956 Andrew Smith joined the company as plant manager, and he is credited with the efficient, cost-effective plant operation in use today. His careful selection and placement of tempering and enrobing equipment enabled Campbell’s Confections to increase production to accommodate the growing number of retail stores.
During the 1960s, the sales of Campbell’s Confections experienced phenomenal growth, and the company earned the reputation of making the very best chocolates in western Pennsylvania. Campbell’s Confections became a local legend and was “the” place to buy chocolates. Five additional stores opened in Pennsylvania during the 1960s.
As sales grew, so did the need to expand factory production. In the mid-1970s, the factory moved to its current location on Monroe Street. Through the vision of William Campbell, the construction project included a museum area to display the original chocolate-making machines, advertisements from the 1950s, and historical photographs. The museum also houses murals to explain the process of harvesting and processing the cacao beans to create chocolate.
In addition to the museum, a small auditorium was built to provide an area for students and visitors to view educational movies about chocolate production. The auditorium is also used for candy-making demonstrations and hosting annual presentations by national and international chocolatiers.
The factory building was also designed to provide office space for management, sales, marketing, and financial operations.
By 1980 the number of company retail stores numbered 16 with two stores opening in Ohio. The customer service department evolved as a result of the expansion to a second state. The original mission of the customer service department was to provide telephone support to the sales force. Today customer service includes voice and electronic contact for sales representatives as well as direct contact for customers. The customer service department includes the department coordinator and four account executives—two for Pennsylvania, one for Ohio, and one for West Virginia.
During the 1990s Campbell’s Confections continued to expand its market with three stores opening. Ohio stores opening included Warren and Youngstown, and West Virginia added its fourth store in Wheeling. During this decade the portfolio of chocolates increased and melt-a-ways were added to complement the line of chocolate covered-nuts and chocolate-covered creams.
The maintenance/garage facility was built in 1994 adjacent to the factory. It houses the company vehicles, and the maintenance supervisor coordinates all shipping and receiving operations.
Campbell’s Confections entered the wholesale market during the mid 1990s. Contracts were negotiated with a large hotel chain and the Pittsburgh airport to provide boxed chocolates for gift stores. Wholesale contracts are negotiated with hotels or other businesses with multiple locations. Wholesale prices are based on a minimum order of $750. The wholesale agreements also stipulate the proper conditions for displaying Campbell’s Chocolates. The display area must be a temperature-controlled environment with ideal temperatures ranging from 60 to 68 degrees in a dry area. Chocolates cannot be displayed in an area where flowers are sold due to the high humidity levels.
Initial chocolate offerings for the wholesale market included