In Search of Chocolate-Makers Past


Maillard Chocolate, ca. 1880 – Boston Public Library (

Small independent producers were grinding cocoa beans in the city since the mid-1700s, likely limited to serving the local or regional consumer. In contrast, larger companies with broader reach emerged a century later in what I have come to think of as New York’s ‘golden age’ of chocolate manufacturing, whose larger factories no doubt employed the latest in confectionery machinery. Henry Maillard emigrated to New York in the 1840s, and built an empire that culminated in a massive factory along Sixth Avenue and a flagship retail store that stood nearby at the intersection of Broadway and Fifth Avenue across from Madison Square Park (the current site of Eataly).


Check this space for more anecdotes, images, and insights  into NYC’s chocolate history…

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