It all started in 1876, the year America celebrated its 100th birthday, General Custer ran into trouble at the Little Big Horn and Alexander Graham Bell made his famous telephone call to Mr. Watson. In St. Louis, Missouri, Mr. Busch was brewing his first batch of beer.
Meanwhile, across the state in the busy river town of St. Joseph, Dr. George Washington Chase faced a dilemma. In those days it was difficult raising a family on a doctor’s meager wages. Drawing upon his previous experiences while growing up back East, Chase decided to open a fruit and produce business.
His teenage son Ernest persuaded him to hire two expert candy makers. The idea was to set up a candy factory on the second floor of the store. The idea worked and before long the demand for Chase’s fine confections forced the family to devote all of their talents to candy making.
Over the years Chase became known throughout the Midwest for its fine quality peanut candies and hand-dipped chocolates. Around 1918 Chase formulated what was to become the best selling cherry candy bar in the country, Cherry Mash. The candy consisted of a quarter pound mound of chopped roasted peanuts blended with chocolate coating over a smooth cherry fondant center. Interestingly the candy was called Cherry Chase then Cherry Chaser before becoming the Cherry Mash we know today.
Cherry Mash Memories
When I was young, my mother and I spent our days at home. After lunch we would always have a treat. Mom bought lollipops for me and she would have a Cherry Mash. I asked her one day if I could have one of her candy bars and she explained that Cherry Mash were kind of an adult candy and I wouldn't like it.
About that time my baby brother woke up from his nap and mom got up to get him. I looked over at her candy and the temptation was just too great. When she came back and sat down, she reached for her candy and all that was left was the wrapper. I was afraid she was going to be mad and quickly said I was sorry.
To my amazement she just looked at me and smiled and said " sweety, there's no need to be sorry, I was the one who thought you wouldn't like it, but from now on we will both have Cherry Mash!" To this day when I go visit my mother I always stop by the store and buy two Cherry Mash and we sit and enjoy them and laugh about the day that my adult taste buds kicked in. ~ Melissa from Missouri