Harry L. Brown owned a small confectionery store and enjoyed experimenting with chocolate and sugar candies. J. C. Haley, worked for Schilling and Company, a spice company, and had a flair for sales and advertising. Together J.C. and Harry created confections known world-wide, and the enterprise we have the honor of carrying forward today.
They met at church in Tacoma, Washington in 1908, after J. C. Haley moved from West Virginia seeking his fortune. After beginning to work together in 1912, they incorporated their candy manufacturing business in 1914. By 1916, Brown & Haley was marketing a full line of candy products, including a chocolate and nut confection with a vanilla-cream center called Mt. Tacoma Bar, later known as MOUNTAIN® Bar.
In 1914, World War I erupted, the Panama Canal officially opened, and Ty Cobb won his eighth consecutive American League batting championship. With the emergence of war in Europe, nearby Camp Lewis (now Fort Lewis) swelled with doughboys training to fight "over there." The soldiers had a collective sweet tooth that yearned to be satisfied, and Brown & Haley happily supplied them with everything from taffy chews to butterscotch balls.
The young company's sales soared, but then fell with the Armistice and the return of Camp Lewis to its pre-war population. J.C. and Harry then decided that the key to success was to innovate, and so began several years of experimentation.
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Brown and Haley
A LEGEND IS BORN
In 1923, the company hit the jackpot with a crunchy, log-shaped candy piece suffused inside with butter and coated with chocolate and diced almonds. This delicious buttercrunch confection was dubbed ALMOND ROCA® by a local librarian. The same librarian also suggested the ancient Sicilian coat of arms that inspired an early Brown & Haley logo.
Word spread quickly about this foil-wrapped luxury confection. In 1927, the company decided to seal it in the now-famous pink tin, extending the product's shelf life threefold. This ability to travel, and the candy's exquisite taste, spurred worldwide sales of ALMOND ROCA® buttercrunch toffee.