Russell Stover Candies is one of the most recognizable names in the candy business. In fact, the company is the third-largest chocolate manufacturer in America and the largest producer of boxed and sugar-free chocolate. When it comes to Valentine’ Day, the Russell Stover name is on seven of the 10 bestselling heart-shaped chocolate boxes in America.
The company originally opened in 1923 as Mrs. Stover’s Bungalow Candies in Denver. A year later the Stovers opened five stores in Denver, along with shops in Kansas City, St. Louis, Omaha and Lincoln, Neb. With their business rapidly expanding, the Stovers opened their first factory in Kansas City in 1928. And finally in 1932, Russell Stover relocated its entire company operations to KC. The company then changed its name to Russell Stover Candies in 1943 and continued to expand throughout the nation.
While the company grew, it never forgot the old-fashioned way of making candy that helped launch the Stover empire. Even today, candies are still made by a “batch process” rather than in bulk. Most processes are still done by hand, much as they were when Claire started making the candy in her home, causing the company to hand-dip more than 25 million pieces of candy each year.
Candy from the company’s three brands—Russell Stover, Whitman’s and Pangburn’s—may be found at more than 50 company-owned retail shops as well as thousands of venues throughout North America and in 20 countries around the world.