Tag Archive for 'business'

Squirrel Brand

Squirrel BrandWe dis­cov­ered an inter­est­ing urban sto­ry on a walk we took this past week­end, down Colum­bia Street in Cam­bridge map… the famous Squir­rel Brand can­dy and nut com­pa­ny fac­to­ry, made famous by 90’s swing-revival­ists Squir­rel Nut Zip­pers, (don’t let that turn you off).

After decades of pro­duc­tion, the com­pa­ny moved on, but the city and com­mu­ni­ty stepped in and con­vert­ed the build­ing and grounds to afford­able hous­ing:

The Squir­rel Brand build­ing had to be gut­ted. Its 132 6-by-8-foot win­dows, 12.5-foot ceil­ings, and wood floors had been sat­u­rat­ed by more than eight decades of molasses steam. Just-A-Start offi­cials esti­mate a cost of $6 mil­lion to ren­o­vate the fac­to­ry and two small­er build­ings the orga­ni­za­tion pur­chased near­by. But they say they remain com­mit­ted to sav­ing the build­ing rather than lev­el­ing it.

Also, I had no idea just how much can­dy was man­u­fac­tured here… Nec­co, Toot­sie-Roll, Squir­rel Brand:

In 1928, at the height of an era when Cam­bridge pro­duced most of the treats that sat­is­fied the nation’s sug­ar crav­ing, 32 con­fec­tionary man­u­fac­tur­ers flour­ished with­in the city lim­its. They took ships’ holds full of sug­ar or molasses from the West Indies and turned it into gooey, sticky, and choco­latey treats.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, only a Toot­sie sub­sidiary remains on Main Street…