Clark Bar saved from extinction, returning to Pennsylvania
ALTOONA, Pa. – Pittsburgh’s iconic hometown candy bar is returning to Pennsylvania.
Boyer Candy Company in Altoona on Thursday purchased the rights, recipes and equipment for the Clark Bar from an unidentified seller.
“We’re really excited. This is an iconic Pennsylvania candy,” owner Anthony Forgione told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I remember the heartbreak when it left Pittsburgh.”
The chocolate-coated peanut butter crunch bar was created in Pittsburgh by Irish immigrant D.L. Clark in 1917. The bars were wildly successful with soldiers during World War I, when they were marketed as individually wrapped bars to facilitate shipment to American troops.
The Clark family sold the business in 1955 and ownership changed several times over the years. Necco, or New England Confectionery Co., in Revere, Massachusetts, had been producing Clark Bars since the 1990s.
The fate of the Clark Bar and other nostalgic candies such as Necco Wafers and Sweethearts conversation hearts were thrown into limbo when Necco declared bankruptcy in April.
In May, Round Hill Investments won the auction for Necco with an offer of $17.3 million. Round Hill then sold the brand to an unspecified candy maker, prompting the sudden closure of the Revere factory.
Forgione, whose company also makes Mallo Cups, declined to reveal the purchase price.
He said it might take up to six months to get production underway.
“We’re not going to just pump product out,” he told the Tribune-Review. “We saw how upset people were about the potential of this brand not existing in this country. It’s really what drove us to take a stand and bring it back. No candy bar should go out of production on its 101st birthday.”