Sanders Chocolates was first opened by Fred Sanders on June 17, 1875. Eventually, there were more than 57 stores in the Great Lakes Region alone, selling candy, fudge toppings, and baked goods, as well as light lunches and an assortment of fountain counter specialties, including Ice Cream Sodas, Sundaes and Hot Fudge Cream Puffs.
Sanders soon became the leading purveyor of confections in the region and started selling directly to national supermarket chains, as well as to other retailers in the area. We still believe in Fred Sanders' simple mission to "bring European confectionery style to America by using only the finest ingredients and providing dutiful customer attention, while selling confections at a reasonable price." Today, our dedicated lifelong candy makers still prepare Fred Sanders' Chocolates and Gourmet Toppings following his strict recipes dating as far back as 1875.
In 2002 Morley Candy Makers, Inc. purchased the Sanders name and original recipes to add to its own tradition since 1919. We are proud to continue the Sanders tradition of making "Chocolate Worth Sharing."
Our candy makers are almost always cooking caramel, producing about 25,000lbs per day! Sanders is an industry- recognized leader for its caramel because of our commitment to quality ingredients. Our caramel gets its characteristic color and taste from the century-old ‘scorching’ process of heating sugar, butter and cream cooked in old-fashioned candy kettles until the mixture turns from a milky white substance to a rich brown color as the batch slightly scorches. This technique is a time perfected skill. There is a narrow range between the temperature it takes to turn sugar into caramel versus the temperature where it becomes scorched so our candy makers take great care to make it just right every time.
Accident or Masterpiece?—
On a hot summer day in 1875, Sanders concocted what was to be believed the first ice-cream soda! According to legend Fred created the drink when the milk and cream turned sour one busy afternoon. Not wanting to disappoint his customers, Sanders substituted ice cream, and the drink was an immediate success.
Henry Ford worked for Sanders—
Sanders was one of the first companies in Detroit to use electric motors to run equipment. As a new source of technology the motors would often break down. When Fred Sanders grew tired of the "faulty motor" he threatened to throw it out. Edison talked Sanders into giving the motor another try and sent over a repair man. That repair man was the young Henry Ford, who worked as a mechanic at Edison Illuminating Company before he started Ford Motor Company.
A True Visionary—
In the early 1900s the Sanders family owned one of the first electric automobiles; it provided much amusement for the early skeptics. The “electric “ seemed to have a temperamental streak; it would bring the family downtown in grand style, but once parked in front of the Sanders store it would refuse to run except in reverse.