USE CODE NEWSITE FOR 10% OFF ORDERS $40+
FREE SHIPPING ON ALL ORDERS OVER $75

Asher's Chocolate Co.

Our History

We understand that one of life’s sweetest pleasures is a simple box of chocolates. As a family-owned-and-operated business, we’ve been making our fine chocolates and other classic confections for over five generations.  Scroll down to learn about our history!

Before Asher's

A quick Lesson on The History of Chocolate

Sweet Deal

The value of the cocao bean didn’t stop as a simple drink, though. It was highly revered to the point that it was more valuable than gold.

1400-1100
B.C.

Chocolate’s Roots

Chocolate didn’t start off as the sweet (or bitter) delicacy we know it as today – it began as a beverage created from the bean of a cacao tree, harvested and assembled by the Maya, Toltec, and Aztec peoples of Mesoamerica.

El Chocolate Esta Aqui

While it’s disputed when exactly chocolate arrived in Europe, it’s widely accepted that Spanish explorers returned it to Spain after their conquests in Mesoamerica.

1500s

Soon chocolate was spreading throughout Europe and the way chocolate was used in cuisine was transformed as the cocao bean was introduced to wider parts of the world.

Just over 40 years later chocolate had made its way north to Boston and the first chocolate house opened there in 1682

1600s

New Lands, New Tastes

It’s no surprise that chocolate would make its way to the early American colonies as European nations began to settle along the coastlines of the New World. The first recording of chocolate in the New World was in 1641 when Spanish conquistadors brought the treat to Florida. 

Revolutionary Snacking

Chocolate was a popular addition to rations for the militia during the American Revolution. Sure, it may not have been tasty milk chocolate, but it proved to be a welcome addition!

1700s

Chester A. Asher

THE HISTORY OF ASHER'S CHOCOLATE

1860s

Exciting Times!

The year is 1868 and big things are happening all around. Fans of alternative public transportation are introduced to the bicycle we know today, scientists and birthday balloons everywhere are thrilled by the discovery of helium, and parade floats are introduced for the very first time at the Mardi Gras festival in New Orleans!

Chester A. Asher is Born

But honestly, the coolest thing to happen in the year of 1868 is the birth of our founder, Chester A. Asher. Chester was raised as a Canadian Scotch-English farm boy and ¬moved to the United States as an adult.

March 27,
1868

1889

Sweets from Around the World

In 1889 Chester comes to the USA. He settles in Buffalo, New York, where he first learns to make chocolate. With his new found passion for chocolate-making, Chester starts his first business, “Sweets from Around the World”.

Asher’s is Founded

Chester moved from Buffalo, and in 1892 Asher’s Chocolates was officially founded in Center City, Philadelphia. Chester ran his small candy store near Independence Hall and, after it grew in size and popularity, he decided to move the business to Germantown, Pennsylvania in 1899. The company was originally marketed as “Asher’s Candy”. In these early years, Chester sold more than just chocolate and candies, he also specialized in canned and baked goods!

1892
-1899

1908

Community Impact

In 1908 Chester served on the Committee for the Celebration of Founders Day in Germantown – a celebration honoring the 225th Anniversary of the founding of the first German settlement in America. Chester didn’t just come to Germantown to make confections, he also came to be make an impact in his community.

2nd Generation

The History of Asher's chocolate

1910
-1930

Early Success

Over the next 20 years three connecting plants are built behind Chester’s store and candy-making operation. As the company grows, it becomes a well-known candy maker, selling its products in bulk to large department stores along the East Coast. During this time Chester’s four sons become increasingly involved in the family business.

John Asher Sr.

Asher’s Candy continues to operate through two World Wars and the Great Depression. During the Great Depression Chester’s youngest son, John Asher Sr. takes over the company. John takes his two sons, John Jr. (Jack) and Robert (Bob) under his wing to teach them how to run a confectionary.

1930s
& 1940s

1950s

Candy Experiments

Chocolate Treats Made to Withstand the Heat- Fairy Bells and Mint Delights are tried and fail, but that wouldn’t be the last time Asher’s experimented! Needless to say the business was due for big changes.

3rd Generation

The History of Asher's chocolate

Bob & Jack

When John Sr. dies unexpectedly in 1968, his sons Bob and John Jr. (aka. Jack) step up and take over as the new heads of Asher’s. Although a somber moment in the company’s history, the two newest leaders are prepared to carry the family’s namesake. Bob focused on Sales and Finance, while Jack handled production.

1968

1970s

Asher's Chocolates

Jack & Bob make a decision that changes the course of the company – they decided to focus completely on chocolate confections, and they start producing sugar-free chocolates as well the following decade.

Jack in the Community

Even with his new role as head of production at Asher’s, Jack still made time to serve his community in several fulfilling ways. He was a board member at the First Presbyterian Church in Germantown as well as a board member at Historic Cliveden where he found great joy in participating in the Battle of Germantown re-enactment for 40 years.

1980s

1988

Jack named Small Business Person of the Year

Jack’s involvement didn’t stop at the church or the battlefield – Jack also served as a volunteer firefighter for 35 years with the Wissahickon and Flourtown Fire Companies. In 1988 Jack received the Small Business Person of the Year award from the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

Asher’s Revival

Under Jack & Bob, Asher’s ran an aggressive sales and production program and experienced major growth. By 1990 it was time for Asher’s to expand their operations out of the Germantown location that their grandfather, Chester A. Asher, had opened earlier that century.

1990

1991

Asher’s Expands 

Asher’s acquires Goss Candy Co. in Lewistown, Pennsylvania. Expanding the business allows Asher’s to grow into a larger company and implement technological advances that’ll expedite production and enhance the quality of the product. 

100 Years Old

The History of Asher's chocolate

Asher’s Celebrates 100 Years

As Asher’s celebrates 100 years, a monumental achievement, Jack Asher takes over the production at the new Lewistown facility, renamed “Asher’s Chocolates / Lewistown”. Over the next decade and a half sales at this location will grow 22-fold.

1992

June 26,
1997

New Headquarters

A grand ceremony officially opens a new headquarters in Souderton, Pennsylvania. This new building provided a state-of-the-art 125,000 sq. ft. facility for primary production, warehousing and shipping, as well as business offices and even a retail outlet!

4th Generation

The History of Asher's chocolate

Jeff, David, & John

The family legacy continues as Bob and Jack hand control of the company over to their sons. Bob’s son, Jeff, is named Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Jack’s sons, David and John III, are promoted to President and CFO, and assume the roles of Co-Chairmen of the Board.

2000s

2003

Kosher Certified

Asher’s Chocolates has always created kosher products, but in 2003 we received our official OU-D Kosher certification.

Jack inducted into the Candy Hall of Fame

Jack Asher is inducted into the Candy Hall of Fame. Other notable inductees include: Milton Hershey (The Hershey Co.), William August Goetze (Goetze’s Candy Co, and Frank C. Mars (Mars Inc.)

2006

2011
-2012

Landfill-Free Certified

In 2011 Asher’s is certified as a landfill-free enterprise, meaning all waste is either reused, recycled, or processed into renewable fuel. By doing this, Asher’s becomes a more eco-friendly business that strives to reduce its carbon footprint.

Name Change!

Asher’s Chocolates officially updates name to Asher’s Chocolate Co.

June 30,
2015

Asher's Logo in black on white background.

2016

Jeff Asher, President

In 2016, the board appoints Jeff as president and CEO of Asher’s Chocolate Co.

Asher’s Celebrates 125 Years

The following year Jeff led the celebration of a huge milestone, Asher’s Chocolate’s 125th anniversary.

July 14,
2017

August 30,
2017

Saying Goodbye

 Jack Asher passes away, leaving behind an incredible legacy. Jack invested over 50 years of employment and management  in Asher’s Chocolates.

5th Generation

The History of Asher's chocolate

2019

Sophie Asher

Jeff’s daughter Sophie Asher joins the family business, representing the Asher’s brand at various community events, TV commercials, and even on QVC.

Asher’s wins the Family-Owned Business Award

The Philadelphia Inquirer announces that Asher’s Chocolate Co. has won the 2019 Family-Owned Business Award in the Midsize Business category! This award is given to businesses that continue to not only grow as a company, but proudly represent Philadelphia as a community.

April,
2019

2020

Chester “Chet” Asher

After completing his degree at the A.B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University, Jeff’s son Chester “Chet” Asher joins the family business as well.

SQF Certified

Early in 2022 Asher’s Chocolate Co. becomes SQF (Safe Quality Food) certified – a rigorous process that is recognized worldwide for its credible food safety and quality standards.

2022

Today

Looking Ahead

While Jeff Asher still has many years left in him as CEO of Asher’s Chocolate Co., he’s also looking ahead to the next generation. His two children, Chet and Sophie, have not only been given the tools to follow in their father’s footsteps, but are encouraged to bring their creativity, extensive experience, and new ideas back to the business.

The Future of Asher’s Chocolates Co.

As the chocolate business continues to evolve, so does Asher’s. Through our devotion to our family values, unmatched product quality, and exceptional customer service, Asher’s Chocolates is ready for more sweet success.

Beyond

Times Change

Quality Doesn't

Asher’s Chocolate Co. is looking forward to continuing to bring the same quality and fine ingredients to our chocolates and classic confections for generations to come.