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The History of Junior Mints

Junior Mints were created in 1949 by the James O. Welch Company. Reportedly, James O. Welch himself personally named the treat after Junior Miss, a well-known Broadway play based on a collection of stories in the New Yorker; it was also adapted into a radio show starring Shirley Temple. (Supposedly, the name "Junior Mints" was meant to be a play on the name of the show, which was well-known enough that most consumers at the time would likely have understood the joke.) Junior Mints — both their peppermint centers and shiny, shellacked chocolate coatings — were produced in Cambridge. At the time, the area was unofficially the candy production capital of the United States. Today, most candy factories have left the suburb, but interestingly, all Junior Mints are still manufactured in the original Cambridge factory today, which is known as Cambridge Brands. Although the production location hasn’t changed, ownership of the brand has shifted on several occasions. In 1963, Nabisco bought the James O. Welch Company, and with it, Junior Mints. Then in 1988, Nabisco sold Junior Mints to the Warner-Lambert Company, who in turn sold off its candy brands to Tootsie Roll Industries in 1993. Tootsie Roll Industries continues to produce Junior Mints today. The candies have become entrenched in American culture as an iconic movie theater snack and are often included in Halloween candy offerings. They've also become a cultural icon due to a humorous appearance on an episode of Seinfeld. Today, Junior Mints remain one of the most beloved candies in America and are sought-after by fans of all ages.

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