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Sevigny’s, Great American Ribbon Candy

December 23rd, 2008 · 18 Comments

By Garland Pollard

Sevigny’s Hard Ribbon CandyMade by F.B. Washburn

BROCKTON, MASS. – Among (and apparently) the nation’s oldest candy makers is F.B. Washburn, founded in 1856. One of the first products of the company was the Waleeco Coconut Bar (associated with Red Sox baseball) and the Wasburn Peanut Bar.

They also made a number of hard candies, including ribbon candy and a type called “peppermint starlights.” During the Depression, the business struggled and a fellow named Harry Gilson took over the company, eventually bringing in his brother Sam.

In 1986, they purchased Sevigny’s, the only other maker of ribbon candy, and kept the brand name. The company is now run by Doug and Jim Gilson.

F.B. Washburn,
137 Perkins Avenue
P.O. Box 3277
Brockton, MA 02304

tel (508) 588-0820

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Tags: Made in USA · Regional Brands

18 responses so far ↓

  • 1 jbh // Dec 23, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    Christmas isn’t the same without Sevigny’s…..i love the solid white pieces!!! What a fab post!!

  • 2 Andy // Jan 15, 2009 at 12:10 am

    Wish they never stopped making the Waleeco bars. They are so much better than those Mounds Bar things!!!

  • 3 Jim M. // Feb 12, 2009 at 1:18 am

    Andy, I agree with you wholeheartedly–Mounds are just not as good as Waleeco bars. In fact, for a Peter Paul product, I prefer Almond Joy.

    If the Gilson sons still own a candy company, why don’t they revive the Waleeco bar? I think, at least if marketed in Boston/New England area, would still sell well.

    And considering the candy bar’s historic tie to the Boston Red Sox, which is such a big brand name now in its own right, Waleeco could well be re-associated as the “official candy bar of the Boston Red Sox” or something like that.

    Hey, at least coconut is of some nutritional value, too.

  • 4 Hank Edwards // Mar 5, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    The WALEECO candy bar was the BEST coconut bar EVER made…. I REALLY miss them…

  • 5 Susan Doherty // Mar 15, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    Just this morning I walked around the site of the
    Washburn Candy Factory on Perkins avenue. The building is so iconic and majestic looking- a beautiful old dame. I was heartened excited to see that the Washburn Company is still in operation and that it ranks as the oldest candy maker in the United States. What a wonderful Legacy. I’ve just called their main office and I’m hoping to gain entry to the inside of the factory to photograph it and to hopefully share its history with Brocktonians and New Englander s who remember the Waleeco Candy bar which totally ruled and should be revived once again.

  • 6 Garland Pollard // Mar 15, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    Susan…thanks for the comments. And good luck with the efforts to document the building and share the history. If you post them online, please give us the link and we will share it with readers. Or contribute a short item and we can post all of it here.

  • 7 Patrick // Jul 21, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    I have a 1948 paper with in it’s comic section is a recipe for coconut brownie bars made with Waleeco bars. I realy need to know what the size or weight of the bars were… anyone know

  • 8 Stephen Fotos // May 18, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    My grandmother always had the ribbon candy at her house outside of Boston. I was thrilled to find it locally this past year at Christmas. Still great!

  • 9 bea langlois // Jul 12, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Right on with the waleeco bar comments. We were a family of eight kids and it was the favorite for all of us. Please ! Please ! Make them again. Most of my family is still in boston and we wax nostalgic over these bars often. Our children would love them i know. There is a market out there for them . Come on makeum again.

  • 10 Neil Mahoney // Aug 17, 2010 at 11:25 am

    I agree with everything said earlier. I remember some roving reporter who would walk the grandstands in dear old Fenway. He’d ask a question, then shout “Give that man a Waleeco Coconut Bar!!!”

    Who was that roving reporter? Also, where can I get a Waleeco Coconut Bar?? Neil Mahoney

  • 11 Terry Travers // Nov 14, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    One Waleeco Bar would be worth more to me than all the ribbon candy these guys ever made. I hope they keep that recipe in the family safe, because, God forbid I should live long enough to ever taste one again.

  • 12 Susan // Oct 16, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    I don’t know why I decided to look for a Waleeco bar, I bought one every day (almost) on my way home from East Jr High in the mid 60′s. It really was the best of the both, dark chocolate and coconut, yum.
    BTW another favorite that went by the wayside was Hershey’s Bar None, similar to a KitKat with cocoa wafers, chocolate filling, peanuts and a chocolate coating, fabulous.

  • 13 louise // Dec 14, 2011 at 10:16 am

    You know it is christmas time when you see ribbon candy in the store,far back as I can remember my Mom always got it now I do but the one thing that drives me nuts is what are the flavors what are they all? Why not put it in the box on the lid? I love knowing what flavor I am eating the white is my favorite.

  • 14 Tony // Dec 17, 2011 at 7:59 am

    There was only one true ribbon candy with quality put into it,(Sevignys Ribbon Candy in Hanover Ma.)Known as the Worlds thinnest ribbon candy.
    Then in 1985 Washburn bought out that company and the trade mark Sevignys Candy,The ribbon candy of today advertised as Sevignys is not the true original Sevignys Candy,it lacks the quality,workmanship and title worlds thinnest. Like day and night from the original Sevignys Candy,I should know I worked their for 18 years makeing it until they were bought out.and thats a Fact.

  • 15 Jon // Dec 22, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Tony, I was a kid in West Hanover, and went to school with the Sevignys, so remember the ribbon candy well…Matter of fact, at Christmas, every house in the neighborhood had a box.
    I agree. The replacement is just not the same at all. What? No clove flavor now??

  • 16 Bjorn Dragsbaek // Nov 11, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    In the 1970′s I did a TV commercial with Carl Yastremzski ofr waleeko Coconut Bar with a handful of other kids in my neighborhood playing a Bad News Bears type theme to the commercial. Can anyone track down and send a link to that commerical for me?

  • 17 Richard G. Tatro // Jun 15, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    I moved to Brockton with my family from Newburyport on the North Shore, a small Colonial Town of only 8000 to 10,000 residents. I was 13 years young, and went to Huntington Jr High School, and Brockton High. My first job was at Washburn’s Candy Fsctory on Perkins Avenue in Campello. I believe I was 16 at that time. I batched ribbon candy, and also packed Waleeco Coconut candy bars from the conveyor belt. We could eat all we wanted of the coconut candy bars, and we found why. We actually got tired of eating them because the chocolate was sweet, and could make you sick eating too many in a short period of time. Plus if I remember correctly we got a box on pay days some times. My most difficult job was batching The Christmas Candy. It would come out on the stainless table from a hot tub, and we would use a four inch wide steel bar about 12 to 14 inches long to push the bubbles from the hot candy mix, and then we would send it down a ramp and it would go into a machine making the wavy ribbon Christmas Candy. It was fun but it was work also making one of the oldest candy bars in the country.

  • 18 Richard Felch // Jul 14, 2014 at 10:57 am

    When I was a boy growing up in Providence, the Waleeco Coconut Bar was my absolute favorite. Now I have to eat Almond Joy and Mounds. Please get the company to re-introduce the original WALEECO COCONUT BAR. In 1978 I walked into a store in Hampton Beach and there was one Waleeco Coconut Bar, old enough to vote, I bought it, ate it and as stale as it was, I enjoyed it.

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