LOSS: Candy Department Closed in Marshall Field’s Building on State Street

“Macy’s on State Street closed its decades-old basement candy counter last week. But the department store will continue selling sweets, including Frango chocolates, the beloved holdover from the Marshall Field’s days.

“For decades, customers would come to Marshall Field’s and then later Macy’s to visit the candy store to buy confections by the pound. But on Monday, curtains concealed empty candy displays in the basement of Macy’s, at 111 N. State St. The candy store closed Jan. 23, Macy’s employees confirmed Monday.

“Megan Peterson, who has lived in Chicago for 20 years, said she remembers the candy store at Marshall Field’s, before it became Macy’s in 2005.

“‘It was nostalgic because of how Marshall Field’s had it,’ Peterson said. ‘They had an old-timey candy counter.’

“A popular choice at the candy store was Frango chocolates.

“When Marshall Field’s bought Seattle-based department store chain Frederick & Nelson in 1929, the recipe for “Franco Mints” came with the purchase. But after Francisco Franco came to power as dictator of Spain in the 1930s, the name changed to Frango, according to a plaque displayed at Macy’s.

“The chocolates used to be made on-site at the State Street store. But Field’s closed the 13th-floor candy kitchen and fired 157 employees in 1999 and moved production of the chocolate to Pennsylvania, much to the dismay of Chicagoans and then-Mayor Richard M. Daley.

“Daley even met with the president of Marshall Field’s to try to persuade the company to keep the production of the sweets in Chicago. Members of Service Employees International Union Local 1 gathered signatures on a petition to find another manufacturer in the city. But the company stuck with the Pennsylvania candy maker.

“In 2017, the parent company of Garrett Popcorn shops agreed to acquire Frango from Macy’s, bringing the beloved brand back to Chicago.

“Frango products, including coffee beans and the famous mint chocolates, will continue to be sold at Macy’s at displays in the basement and on the first and seventh floors.” (Cha and Washburn, Chicago Sun-Times, 1/29/24)

Read the full story at Chicago Sun-Times

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