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The History of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

In the early 1900s, Harry Burnett Reese began working for Hershey on the company’s dairy farms and later, in a factory shipping room. During his time at the company, he noticed how much chocolate they were selling and was inspired to start his own candy business to support his family. He began making candy from the basement of his home. At first, he manufactured a variety of confections. By the mid-1920s, he had achieved enough success to expand several times and in 1928, he began making Peanut Butter Cups as part of a large candy assortment that he sold in department stores. In 1935, Reese began offering his Peanut Butter Cups as a stand-alone item. In 1942, due to wartime rationing and the popularity of the treat, Reese discontinued all other product lines and began exclusively producing Peanut Butter Cups. In 1956, Reese passed away, and his six surviving sons took over the business. Reese’s company, the H.B. Reese Candy Company, had enjoyed a close relationship with Hershey since the beginning, as the latter provided the chocolate coating for Reese’s products. In 1963, Reese’s sons sold the H.B. Reese Candy Company — and with it, the famous Peanut Butter Cups — to the Hershey Chocolate Corporation. Today, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are one of the most popular candies of all time and the product line has been expanded to include many different sizes and even special holiday-themed versions of the beloved treats.

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