NECCO Sweethearts have a place in the hearts and minds of the many of Americans, especially around Valentines Day, but most people don't know much about them. So we traveled to the NECCO Factory in Revere, Massachusetts to meet up with Jeff Green, the Vice President of Research and Quality at NECCO, to learn everything there is to know about this iconic candy.
The founder of NECCO, Oliver Chase, and his brother were English immigrants. They loved a popular confection in England known as a "cockle" that had a message inside of it and wanted to create something similar with their own candy. In the early 1860's, Oliver's brother found a way to print on the candy that they were already making (NECCO Wafers) and decided to experiment with different shapes. As Valentine's Day became more popular and marketable, they decided to stick with a heart shape with romantic or popular sayings. The early Sweethearts were larger pieces of candy with whole poems