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American Licorice Company

Who We Are

“This past year, we have worked to better define what truly drives us. We first think of people: our Associates, the youth of our communities, the people who enjoy our candies and snacks, and the stability and sustainability that jobs provide in the places we call home.”

– American Licorice Company CEO, John Kretchmer

Associates playing inflatable bowling

Where We Started

American Licorice Company founder Martin Kretchmer started out in the chocolate business… unsuccessfully. So, in 1914, he purchased a licorice formula and started American Licorice with his brother and brother-in-law. At first making small batches out of their homes, they began to sell their black licorice candy from a cart in front of department stores in downtown Chicago. The business quickly expanded, and a few years later they purchased a building on the northside of Chicago and started manufacturing there.

Where We're Headed

We believe that what we do is about more than making treats, and we wanted the mission that drives us to reflect that. We believe in a sweeter start for all young people, which is why we have chosen to partner with an amazing group of nonprofits that are championing youth & their communities. Check out the video below to learn more about what our partners at Flanner House are doing to empower young people in their community through organic farming.

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