The team of writers behind the blog at the American Treasure Tour has dedicated hours and hours of research into the magic of the Tour, and we have decided that we need to dedicate today's blog to one of the newest characters to reside in our Toy Box. A four-foot tall stuffed character advertising ... um ... Jolly Ranchers candy!
In 1949, Golden, Colorado wife and husband Dorothy and Bill Harmsen opened up the Jolly Rancher candy store, named after the Jolly Miller, a hotel in their former hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota. They originally sold candy provided by local suppliers, but became dissatisfied with their product and began making their own candy, ice cream and chocolate at “Ranch Maid Ice Cream” stores throughout the Denver region. The Harmsens realized that hard candies sold better than ice cream in the winter months, so they concentrated on that to great success. The original flavors for Jolly Rancher were watermelon, grape, apple and Fire Stix, but new flavors have continuously been experimented with in the decades since then. In 1966, the Harmsens sold Jolly Rancher to Beatrice Food, who then sold them to Leaf Brands in 1983. In 1996, Leaf North America was acquired by the Hershey Company, who owns them to this day. So, if you want to see the four-foot tall Jolly Rancher plush character, it's time to come (back) to the American Treasure Tour. But, if you want to buy yourself some hard candies, or maybe Hersey chocolates, you may want to check out Chocolate World in Hershey, PA after you come see us!