Note: This article was originally published on January 11, 2014. We’ve re-published it with updated information. Enjoy!
As we love reminding entrepreneurs, approximately 80% of Canada’s businesses are family businesses. And they’re not all small business, either. Take, for instance, the Ganong family, founders of Canada’s oldest candy company.
Ganong was started in 1873 by brothers James and Gilbert Ganong in St. Stephen, NB. Together, they opened a grocery business which grew to include a bakery and confectionery. They even tried selling oysters, and manufacturing their own brand of soap. But it was their chocolate that became the most sought-after aspect of their business, and Ganong as we know it was born.
One reason Ganong is still around, in our opinion, is their long history of innovation. Some of the newfangled inventions pioneered by the company include:
- Wrapped chocolate bars (initially invented to bring along on fishing trips)
- The first Canadian lollipop
- North America’s first chocolate nut bar
- Heart-shaped chocolate boxes (first introduced at Christmastime)
- Pureed fruit as a candy ingredient
Giving the market new and innovative solutions to their needs is just one aspect of the company’s success. They have also maintained the family tradition through the generations. Members of the Ganong family are still involved in the highest levels of the family business – in roles such as President and CEO, VP Sales and Development, and Executive Vice Chair.
By the way, the business is still headquartered in St. Stephen – at the appropriate address of One Chocolate Drive!