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The Sanders Story

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It all started with a passionate dream and a borrowed barrel of sugar on June 17, 1875. That’s the day Fred Sanders Schmidt, commonly known as Fred Sanders opened his first chocolate shoppe in Detroit.

By the 1940’s and 1950’s, Sanders® products and chocolate shoppes were woven into the lives of Michigan families. Sanders® soon became the leading source of confections in the region and started selling directly to national supermarket chains, as well as to other retailers in the Detroit area. Eventually, there were more than 57 locations in the Great Lakes Region offering chocolate candies, ice cream, dessert toppings and baked goods. These early shoppes were also known for providing light lunches and an assortment of fountain counter specialties including ice cream sodas, hot fudge sundaes and the famous Sanders® Hot Fudge Cream Puffs.

More than 140 years after the first Sanders® doors opened, we still believe in Fred’s simple mission to provide premium confections at a fair value. We use the finest real ingredients to make our products and never sacrifice quality to save on costs because confections shouldn’t only taste great, they should be made great!

Today, Sanders® is an iconic national brand with items like its Bumpy® Cake, hot fudge toppings, Pecan Torties® and sea salt caramels enjoyed all over the United States and overseas. In 2018, Sanders® became a division of Kar’s Nuts, a leading manufacturer of nut and trail mix snacks with its own rich Detroit history dating back to 1933. Sanders® products are currently sold in leading retailers nationally and online at sanderscandy.com. It also operates nine Sanders® Chocolate & Ice Cream Shoppes, with seven locations in Metro Detroit and two on Mackinac Island. Follow Sanders® on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest updates and share your fond memories!

View the Sanders® Timeline and watch the below video (courtesy of Detroit Public Television) to learn more about the brand and its sweet history: