Iconic and tasty! The Cherry Mash turns 100 years old

February 12, 2018 - 6:00 am
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St. Joseph, MO - The Chase Candy Company has outlasted six other candy plants in St. Joseph for one reason - the Cherry Mash. 

The iconic confection is marking its 100th birthday this year. And there's no other candy like it. It's a unique candy bar made only in Missouri, and the only product now made by the Chase Candy Company. 

Dr. George Washington Chase founded the Chase Candy Company in 1876 and the company survived the Great Depression, a sugar ration in WWII and remains in operation into the 21st Century.

The founder's son, Earnest, created the Cherry Mash in 1918.

"There are other candy bars we've had over the years but Cherry Mash is the only one that has survived," said Barry Yantis, CEO, and 44-year employee. 

Yantis's son, Brett, is in charge of regional sales. Brett is a third generation Chase employee.

"I have people tell me all the time that their grandma used to work at Chase or their grandfather drove a truck for Chase Candy," Yantis said. 

Cherry Mash production begins first thing in the morning and each day's product only takes a few hours.

There are 18 employees, 15 are candy makers, including Steve and Brenda Christiansen.

"I was sitting on the dock, and he walked by, and I was like, I'd better stay away from him, he's nothing but trouble," said Brenda, who knew Steve was the kind of guy to whom she couldn't say no.

"One thing leads to another and I kind of just fell in love with her," Steve said. "Here we are today, it's been, like 25 years."

The people who work at Chase Candy are not just employees, they're family, Yantis said. "It's a legacy for me and a tremendous responsibility for me/"
 

 

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