The Ferrara Pan Candy Company was founded in Chicago, Illinois in 1908 by Salvatore Ferrara, an Italian migrant who reached America in 1900. His native home was Nola, Italy. Before he migrated to America, he used to work as a pastry chef and thus had extensive experience making pastries. He also mastered the art of making confetti, which are almonds with a candy coating. Confetti is still a traditional favorite among Italians at special occasions such as weddings.
After reaching the U.S., he started learning English and mastered it by 1904. As he knew Italian and English, he started working as an interpreter for the Santa Fe Railroad. He helped in the communication between the foreman and crew. He continued the work there for 4 years. After 4 years in 1908, he moved to Chicago, where he started a pastry shop, selling both pastries and confectioneries During the next decade, confetti almonds became popular and his business became very successful. He started selling the products to other retailers in the Midwest region of the U.S.
In 1919, Ferrara’s brothers- in- law Anello Pagano and Salvatore Buffardi became partners in the confectionery business. The trio opened a manufacturing plant in Chicago located at 2200 West Taylor Street which was later converted to a bakery, named Ferrara Bakery.
Later, the word ‘pan’ was added to the company’s name. This was done to indicate that it also produces candies that are panned. In this process, a center for the candy is selected such as nuts or sugar grains. Corn syrup or other ingredients are added which cling to the nut or sugar and the mixture is rolled continuously in a large drum (pan). Eventually, the candy reaches the desired size and it then receives a coating of vegetable wax to give it a shiny look. The manufacturing plants of Ferrara Pan Candy have the latest equipment for the production of candies.
Company headquarters: 7301 W. Harrison St., Forest Park, IL, USA
Number of manufacturing plants: 2, Chicago and Forest Park, IL.
Annual revenue: $50 to $100 million
Number of employees: 530
Demography: Natural and Organic
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