Salvatore Ferrara came to America from Nola, Italy in 1900 and founded Ferrara Pan Candy Company in 1908 in Chicago, Illinois. When he immigrated from Italy, Mr. Ferrara was skilled in the art of making Italian pastries and sugar coated candy almonds. Sugar coated candy almonds, otherwise known as "confetti", continues to be a tradition at Italian weddings.
By 1904, Salvatore Ferrara had become proficient in the English language. Since he was fluent in both English and Italian, the Santa Fe Railroad hired him as an interpreter between crews and their foremen.
He worked at the Santa Fe Railroad for four years. In 1908 he came to Chicago and opened a retail pastry and confection shop. From 1908 to 1919 the sugar coated almond business experienced substantial growth and Mr. Ferrara was shipping to an extensive market in the Midwest.
In 1919, Salvatore Ferrara, Salvatore Buffardi and Anello Pagano, brothers-in-law, formed a partnership to engage in the manufacturing of a wide variety of confections. Upon the formation of the partnership they had constructed a manufacturing facility located at 2200 West Taylor Street in the City of Chicago. The original Ferrara Bakery is still located at this site. The same families, Ferrara, Buffardi and Pagano, continue to own and manage the Ferrara Pan Candy Company to this day caring on the tradition.
The word 'pan' in the company name indicates that some of the candy we make is 'panned'. This process involves building candy pieces from single units, such as grains of sugar, nuts or candy centres, tossing them in revolving pans while adding the flavour, colour and other candy ingredients.
This process continues until the pieces become the desired size. Finally, the candy gets a high polish with an edible vegetable wax, which gives it an attractive appearance.
Ferrara Pan candy company produces some of America's most beloved candies including Jaw Busters, Boston Bakes Beans, Lemonheads, Red Hots, Black Forest and Atomic Fireballs.