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The Homesteader's Newsletter > SPECIAL HSOT MARCH PROGRAM EVENT

Feb 24, 2017

Presented by John DiGuiseppe
V.P. of Business Development • Platter’s Chocolates
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at 7:00 PM
Platter’s Chocolate Factory & Ice Cream Shoppe in the Wurlitzer Building
908 Niagara Falls Blvd., North Tonawanda
Please email tonahist@gmail.com or call 716-694-7406 for reservations.

Before World War I, the Frontier Chocolate Company opened in a large, three-story, brick building on Payne Avenue near Schenck Street and the crossing of the New York Central Railroad to process imported cocoa beans from Africa, Cuba, and South American ports. The Frontier Chocolate Company manufactured cocoa powder in bulk form to produce baking chocolate products sold to candy makers and bakeries and boasted they had the only automatic feeding chocolate manufacturing machine in the country. In the early 1920s, a young man by the name of Carl Platter was employed at Frontier and watched his boss, a German named Heinrich, experiment with mixing a batch of chocolate with a delicate orange flavoring.

Even after leaving Frontier, Carl Platter continued working on the orange chocolate recipe for which Platter’s Chocolates would became famous. He invested in $47 worth of German stainless steel chocolate molds which he would later use to produce his popular orange chocolate bunnies and chicks in the basement of his home on East Felton Street in North Tonawanda, NY.

On Wednesday, March 8th at 7:00 PM, John DiGuiseppe will retell the history of Platter’s Chocolates from a basement to the dramatically enlarged and beautifully designed facility recently opened in the historic Wurlitzer Building at 908 Niagara Falls Boulevard in North Tonawanda. John is the husband of a daughter of the next generation of Platter chocolate makers, and embracing the amazing journey of the company, he now serves as VicePresident of Business Development. He not only enthusiastically relates the company’s history, but seeks anyone’s memories of their experiences with this famous chocolate.

His tour of the new chocolate-making facility will include information on the challenges of temperature control and equipment. You will also learn about a possible connection between Carl Platter and the Wurlitzer factory. The fully glass-enclosed manufacturing area allows you to easily view the various candy making operations. There is also a connecting hallway that allows you to view historical photos of the original Wurlitzer Company’s past operations, a beautiful display area of chocolates, a wall with some of Carl Platter’s original chocolate molds and a relaxing ice cream shop complete with fireplace.

A chocolate tasting may bring back your own sweet memories and give you an opportunity to try some of the new flavors added over the years. To assist the Platter’s staff prepare for the event, we ask that you email or call the Historical Society Museum with your intent to attend. Email: tonahist@gmail.com or call 716-694-7406.

The Historical Society of the Tonawandas will provide a display with information and artifacts from families in the Tonawandas who made a living making chocolate. Artifacts from Frontier Chocolate Company, Yianilo’s Soda Bar, Zeffery’s Luncheonette, and Werkley’s Candies will be on display. We invite you to bring your pictures and memories to add to the fun.

Official Home:  The Historical Society of the Tonawandas, Inc.
Museum and General Office:  113 Main Street, Tonawanda, NY, 14150-2129
(716) 694-7406     Email  tonahist@gmail.com
© 2023 Written authorization required.