Have Sweethearts really been around for 109 years?
Oh, yes. Necco founder — well, back then, it was called Chase and Co. — Oliver Chase created the machine to print things onto candy. The original candy was called a colloquial. It was a little shell with a paper in it, sort of like a fortune cookie. Oliver's brother Daniel Chase came up with the idea for the Sweetheart. We've been making Sweethearts since 1902.
How many hearts do you sell over Valentine's Day each year?
We pump out 10 million to 14 million lb. of hearts a year. [That's about 4.8 billion to 6.7 billion hearts.] We make hearts 11 months out of the year, but we sell almost all of them in a small six-week window. They basically get put on the shelf in January, and after Feb. 14, they're irrelevant.