Class of 2015
Described at his passing in 1931 as possibly the dean of American candy manufacturers, Henry Heide was born in Obermarsberg, Germany, on October 24, 1846 to Johann Joseph and Margarethe, who also raised Henry’s younger brother, Frederick, born in 1850.
Henry immigrated to the U.S. through Liverpool, England, in 1866, and started a grocery business in Pittsburgh. After two years in the retail trade, he moved to the basement of 175 Spring Street, in New York City, where he started making confectionery items, including wholesale almond paste.
In the early days, he had short-term business partners including Charles Wirtz, whose name appeared in contemporary business listings of factory buildings on both sides of Harrison Street, where the expanded company had moved. While most confectionery industry histories list the foundation of Henry Heide, Inc. in 1869, Henry was still collaborating as late as 1875 with Charles Wirtz under the name Heide & Wirtz, when they were granted a patent for a process to make “improved” macaroons, which involved working with almonds, egg whites, sugar and water. However, it is clear that by 1876, Henry was operating Henry Heide, Inc. as an independent confectionery company aided by Frederick, (listed as F. William Heide), who had accompanied Henry to the U.S. He is described as a superintendent at the company until his death in 1929.
Henry continued as an innovator in the fledging candy business in his own right, and was granted two patents for mechanically heating and cooling liquid sugar. He was also deeply involved with the founding of the National Confectioners Association in 1884 and was one of its earliest presidents.
His candy business grew rapidly and by 1895, he had bought eight lots in the Hudson and Vandam Streets area, on which he constructed a nine-story building and later an adjacent 10-story building, linked to the first structure by a bridge.
One of Henry’s first significant successes in retail candy was in 1920 with iconic Jujyfruits, in lilac, violet, rose, spearmint and lemon, though the original flavor line-up has changed much during the years. Jujyfruits were complemented by Jujubes, and both brands exist to this day, owned by Ferrara Candy Co., Inc.
Other brands introduced during his time include Drops, Cinnamon Bears, Cap’n Hot, Jelly Mints and Chuckles. A direct link to the Candy Hall of Fame is traced through Henry marrying Mary Jaeger in 1873, and of their 11 children, eight survived, including Herman L. Heide, father of Andrew, who became president in 1957. Andrew then passed the mantle to 1991 Candy Hall of Fame inductee Philip E. Heide, who joined the company in 1964.