Chase’s Cherry Mash : the pride and joy of St. Joseph, Missouri
Growing up, I came to love the Chase’s Cherry Mash. The iconic candy was not good, it was American made and made right in my hometown of Saint Joseph, Missouri. I guess you could say that the candy is a silent ambassador of the city.
It all started back in 1876 on a second floor on the northside of downtown (by the Robidoux Row) as a sideline for a doctor that was struggle to support his family. After some success, he found he doing more with the business and less as a doctor.
It was finally in 1918 at the close of World War I that George Washington Chase develop the iconic Chase’s Cherry Mash that everyone knows today. It was called the Cherry Chase originally before becoming Cherry Mash.
According to their website,
The candy consisted of a quarter-pound mound of chopped roasted peanuts blended with chocolate coating over a smooth cherry fondant center.
Interestingly, the line of candies never recovered from the Great Depression. They went from having up to 500 different types of candies to a handful of the most successful ones. However, it is better to not be a jack of all trades in most cases.
My personal love for Chase’s Cherry Mash
I remember going through the Christmas at Krug Park every night just to get handfuls of them that they gave out at the end for a donation to buy more lights for the park the next year.
We would eat dozens of them every December as it seems they was everywhere and you could get them so easily but just driving through the park. It became a tradition of many in the northside of Saint Joseph. Trust me, we are not only ones going just for cherry mashes.
Besides that, they typically were pretty cheap to get your hands on at the store. With the large ones being about half a dollar, it was great to grab and eat on the way home from the grocery store.