Pearson acquires Bit-O-Honey: A reaction from a local fanatic
As the unrivaled number-one fan of Bit-O-Honey in the Twin Cities--and possibly the universe--I find it hard to characterize the complex set of emotions I was confronted with Wednesday upon learning that Pearson Candy Company has acquired Bit-O-Honey. The St. Paul based confectioner famous for its Salted Nut Roll will now be making the best damn candy on earth right in our backyard.
Wikimedia Commons An old-time favorite candy comes to Minnesota: Bit-O-Honey's biggest fan reacts
My gut reaction was, of course, joy. Joy at the prospect of Bit-O-Honey being stocked on every shelf and counter of our fair Twin Cities from gas station to law firm to hospital bathroom. It was an intense joy, and one amplified by the fact that I was eating Bit-O-Honey as the news came in, so the pleasure centers of my brain mixed this all together. My head swam with visions of Pearson's St. Paul factory producing chewy ambrosia of the gods on a never-ending assembly line akin to war propaganda film reels from the 1940s. I immediately searched Craigslist for apartments in the vicinity of 2140 West Seventh Street in St. Paul, or what shall now be referred to as Mecca. But upon realizing the rent would likely skyrocket in a Barclays Center/Brooklyn Nets fashion, I fell back on memorizing bus routes.
Feelings of joy quickly turned to wonder as I was confronted with the idea of a world where Bit-O-Honey parades were a weekly occurrence, where wax-wrapped booty rained down from the sky like chewy heaven-sent gold. My heart started to race, so I sat down and ate a few Bit-O-Honeys to calm down.
Later, as I was enjoying a cup of coffee with cream and two Bit-O-Honeys melted within (a Cafe-Bit-O-Miel), fear and anxiety bubbled up deep in my gut over how much unadulterated Bit-O-Honey I would undoubtedly now be consuming given my geographical proximity to its new stomping ground. I was apprehensive about whether my weak mortal body was up to the challenge. This fear ultimately turned into acceptance as I realized they would regardless proclaim that "he died as he lived."
Back in 1924, it was a tumultuous time in the world. Vladimir Lenin had died, leaving Stalin to purge his rivals in a bloody ascension to power; a tornado in Lorain, Ohio, killed 78 people; and the little known Chicago Schutter-Johnson Company achieved perfection after what we can only assume was a Manhattan Project-like quest for confectionary alchemy. They combined almond bits with a honey-flavored taffy and sectioned the bar into six equal pieces. Bit-O-Honey was born and hit the shelves, pleasing flappers, suffragists, and prohibitionists alike. One can assume crates were shipped with Charles Lindbergh to be transported to the Lost Generation in Paris, others to Harlem, probably, to fuel its Renaissance.
Schutter-Johnson later merged with the Ward Candy Company of New York in 1969, and like a wax-wrapped, honey-covered Icarus flying toward a taffy sun, they attempted a few ill-fated spin offs from their original product such as Bit-O-Chocolate, Bit-O-Peanut Butter, and Bit-O-Licorice. Like the Joey spin-off of Friends, these offspring failed to recreate the magic of the original. Nestle bought Ward in 1984 and owned the candy until Pearson made its historical acquisition in what at least one person is calling a May Day miracle.
I called Pearson in order to personally congratulate them on the biggest candy news since Reese's went Big Cup, but there was no answer. One can assume this is because they're in the midst of a week-long party in celebration of their new status as the greatest candy company on the planet. Bit-O-Honey's move to St. Paul will also likely cause a boost in jobs at the Pearson factory, fitting since the deal closed on International Workers Day. One can only wonder, then, if they've staffed the position of "number one fan" yet.... Needless to say I'll be working on my resume by watching this commercial 15 or 16 times.
So, a very happy Bit-O-Honey-Acquisition-By-Pearson-Day to you all! Did the Bit-O-Honey-Acquisition-By-Pearson fairy bring you what you wanted? You have to believe! And put five Bit-O-Honey UPCs under your pillow.