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Discover the true story behind America’s first chocolate company, formed in pre-Revolutionary New England.
In 1765, the story goes, Dr. James Baker of Dorchester, Massachusetts, stumbled upon a penniless Irish immigrant named John Hannon, who was crying on the banks of the mighty Neponset River. Hannon possessed the rare skills required to create chocolate—a delicacy exclusive to Europe—but had no way of putting this knowledge to use. Baker, with pockets bursting, wished to make a name for himself—and the two men would become America’s first manufacturers of this rich treat, using a mill powered by the same river upon which they met.
Local historian Anthony Sammarco details the delicious saga of Massachusetts’s Baker Chocolate Company, from Hannon’s mysterious disappearance and the famed La Belle Chocolatiere advertising campaign to cacao bean smuggling sparked by Revolutionary War blockades. Both bitter and sweet, this tale is sure to tickle your taste buds.