York Peppermint Patties: ‘York became synonymous with dark chocolate and peppermint’

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In 1931, York Cone Co. made, well, cones, as this invoice from York County Heritage Trust files indicates. But it later became widely known as maker of the York Peppermint Pattie. Background posts: 20 questions and answers to prove your York County smarts, Part II and Katharine Beecher of Beecher Candies fame: ‘Legacies,’ Part I and York, Pa.: ‘It’s a midsize city with an interesting history’.

E-mailer Allison W. Bitzer threw me for second.
She wondered about the location of the York Cone Company factories in York.
York Cone Company. York Cone Company.
Oh yes, the original makers of York Peppermint Pattie… .


The candy was made on Pine Street in York.
A past York Daily Record report put the company’s address at 615 S. Pine St.
The invoice above, dated 1931, lists the address at 615-623 S. Pine St.
Which brought to mind York Daily Record/Sunday News columnist Mike Argento’s wonderful description about the Pattie:

It was the brainchild of Henry C. Kessler at the now-defunct York Cone Co., which made ice cream cones starting in the 1920s. Looking to expand the scope of the business, Kessler set out to invent a new candy, one that would meld chocolate and peppermint in perfect harmony. He wanted his candy to be firm and crisp, unlike other chocolate-covered peppermint candies that were gummy and nasty, the kind of stuff they’d get away with in places like Reading.
In 1940, the Peppermint Pattie made its local debut.
It didn’t take long for the York Peppermint Pattie to become the premier chocolate-covered peppermint candy. The York Cone Co. even stopped making cones, devoting all of its energy to the pattie. It was exported all over the Northeast and in Florida, despite no advertising. York became synonymous with dark chocolate and peppermint.
It just wasn’t any peppermint pattie; it was a York Peppermint Pattie. (To read Argento’s entire piece, click here.)

Today, Hershey Foods produces the Pattie, and its Web site says this of the mint: “The cool, refreshing taste of mint dipped in dark chocolate will take you miles away.”
For years, the candy has been produced miles away from York – in Reading and now at an undisclosed plant presumably out of state.
The site gives the following chronology:
1920s – York Cone Company is established in York, PA.
1940 – YORK peppermint patties are introduced locally.
1972 – Peter Paul acquires the York Cone Company.
1975 – YORK peppermint patties begin national distribution.
1978 - Peter Paul merges with Cadbury Schweppes.
1988 - Hershey Foods acquires Cadbury Schweppes’ U.S. confectionery operations.
2004 – Hershey introduces Limited Edition YORK Chocolate Truffle Mint patties.
2007 – Hershey introduces NEW YORK Mints in a tin.
Update, 3/19/10: The wrapper of a bite-size pattie that I picked up at a conference in Hershey stated: “Mfd. in Mexico for The Hershey Company.”

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. East Region Editor, Digital First Media. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
This entry was posted in Archives, all posts, Explanations/controversy, Local journalism & Web, Made in York, Mail bag, Nostalgia & memories, YorkEats: Hogmaw & such. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to York Peppermint Patties: ‘York became synonymous with dark chocolate and peppermint’

  1. Allison says:

    Thanks so much!

  2. webcandyshop says:

    It is great to learn the history of this wonderful Chocolate and peppermint pattie which is a household name today. Nice to learn how they got the name “York.”
    http://www.webcandyshop.com

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