Our Pioneers

 The Richardson story is about more than candy – it’s a tale of pioneers who devoted their lives to making ours a little sweeter. Read on to learn

more about the people whose innovation and passion for confection forged our legacy.

Thomas D Richardson

Thomas D. Richardson had a vision for a new kind of American confection. He worked hard to perfect the recipe for his signature pillow soft sugar mints and began selling them at the counter of a Philadelphia department store in 1893. He was delighted when customers couldn’t get enough of his mints’ unique melt-in-your-mouth texture and smooth peppermint flavor. Richardson’s soft sugar mints are still loved by sweet tooths of all ages. His passion for artisanal confection and love of innovation lives on as we here at Richardson Brands continue to grow his legacy and craft delicious moments in his memory.

Charles Dryden and Noah Palmer

During the late 1800s, Charles Dryden and Noah Palmer joined forces to create Dryden & Palmer Rock Candy. Their artisanal treats quickly became popular both as a medicine for treating coughs and an important ingredient in cocktails. Every saloon had their own version of a “Rock and Rye” (rock candy dissolved in rye whiskey). As years went on and the market changed, Dryden and Palmer were always on the forefront of innovation in their craft, surviving Prohibition, inventing the American classic rock candy on a stick, and spreading the joy of artisanal candy across the globe.

Walter Bogdon

Walter Bogdon was passionate about candy. In the 1940s, he and his wife Ruth settled in Kansas City, founded Bogdon’s Confections, and quickly become known as the finest candymakers around. Bogdon used large industrial fans to push the delicious aromas of candy-making outside, attracting customers off the street. One day, he received a special request from a client – she was getting married, and wanted a unique treat to celebrate. Always one to go the extra mile to make a customer happy, Bogdon looked around his workshop; on one side were the copper pots used to cook hard candy, and on the other a bubbling pot of melted chocolate. Hmm. He rolled a batch of hard candy into long, thin sticks and dipped them in the chocolate. Voila! He named his new treat the Bodgon Reception Stick. The client was thrilled, and he was soon overwhelmed with requests for more. Walter Bogdon passed away in 1992 at the age of 89, having lived to see his unique Reception Sticks become a world-famous treat.

Timeline

We’ve been a part of American lives’ best moments for over 140 years. But how did it all begin?
candy timeline candy timeline

Our forefathers’ passion for artisanal confection and love of innovation lives on to this day.

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