The Sanders Timeline

2018 & beyond

Sanders becomes 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 can be found in retailers across the United States, at Sanders Chocolate & Ice Cream Shoppes in Michigan or online at


Sanders completes extensive remodel of its corporate headquarters and flagship chocolate & ice cream shoppe in Clinton Township, Michigan. The remodel increases the store's footprint by more than 30%, brings an on-site bakery to the premises, expands seating to accommodate more than 125 people and includes nostalgic touches to celebrate the company’s 140+ year heritage, while also using modern design to embrace a bright future.


Sanders attains Safe Quality Food (SQF) Level 3 Certification, which is a renowned certification program recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). Sanders was previously one of the first mid-sized confectionery companies to earn SQF Level 2 Certification. It now becomes one of the few U.S. confectionery manufacturers of its size to attain SQF Level 3 certification, and an Excellent audit rating.


Sanders makes several new investments to support its rapid growth. A new 50,000 square-foot distribution center opens, internal operations are enhanced with a new cloud based ERP software, telephone system are upgraded, a new 500-gallon caramel cooking kettle is acquired and installation of an additional custom built 34-inch wide, 188-foot long chocolate enrobing line is completed.


Sanders Gourmet Ice Cream & Dessert Toppings receive Gluten Free Certification. Flavors include: Milk Chocolate Hot Fudge, Classic Caramel (formerly known as Butterscotch Caramel), Dark Chocolate Hot Fudge (formerly known as Swiss Fudge) and Extra Dark Chocolate Hot Fudge (formerly known as Bittersweet Fudge).


Sanders begins making its famous Sea Salt Caramels that ultimately become a nationwide phenomenon.


After about a decade of manufacturing some of the Sanders products, Morley Candy Makers purchases the Sanders brand and its original recipes, starting the iconic brands' revival.


The Sanders brand is owned by an investment company and Morley Candy Makers is hired to manufacture some of the brand's products.


The Fred Sanders Company experiences hard times and files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. At the time, the company employed more than 1,200 people and had 50 retail outlets.

1950s & 1960s

Sanders is Detroit’s leading candy provider. It has grown to a chain of 57 candy shoppes. Sanders products are also sold at more than 200 local grocers and several national supermarket chains.


There are more than 20 Metro Detroit Sanders locations by 1941. Sanders opens a massive nine-acre, 400,000 square-foot factory in Highland Park, Michigan. This facility operates as the company's headquarters until 1995.


Sanders begins serving light lunches at fountain counters. These counters were an early version of fast food. Business men could get in and out in 20 minutes.


Devil's food Buttercream Cake appears on Sanders menus for the first time. This rich devilsfood cake, topped with pipes of buttercream then draped in chocolate ganache later became known as "Bumpy Cake" after so many customer requested the "cake with the bumps."

early 1900s

Sanders Hot Fudge Sundaes begin to appear on menus.


“The Pavilion of Sweets,” Sanders’ most famed shoppe, opens on Woodward Avenue in 1891. It has a red and white awning and a tower that is similar to a mosque.


Fred Sanders opened his first retail store on Woodward Avenue near State St. on June 17, 1875.