Baker’s chocolate wasn’t created for baking – here’s how it got its name
When you’re browsing the baking aisle of your local grocery store, you’ve probably seen the Baker’s Chocolate brand prominently displayed on various shelves. The company sells all the best baking mixes, like German chocolate, unsweetened chocolate, white chocolate, and even coconut flakes.
You’ve probably never given much thought to the name of the brand, other than the fact that it makes perfect sense: Baker’s Chocolate because it’s meant for pastry shop. But that’s not why it’s called Baker’s Chocolate at all – in fact, the company didn’t even make baking chocolate when it was founded. We know this is one of the oldest chocolate companies in the United States and we are just now realize that the name is not what we thought.
How did Baker’s chocolate get its name?
The Baker’s Chocolate company was founded in the 1760s under a different name, Hannon’s Best Chocolate. The company was started in Boston by John Hannon (hence the original name) and Dr. James Baker who started importing cocoa beans and making chocolate.
However, after Hannon mysteriously never returned from a trip to the West Indies, his wife sold the business to Baker in 1780. Baker changed the name of the business to The Baker Chocolate Company and, despite multiple takeovers in over the years, the name remains quite similar. Today.
Baker’s Chocolate began producing chocolate, but it was not intended for baking. Originally, the company made drinking chocolate (or hot chocolate). It wasn’t until Baker’s grandson Walter Baker took over the business that they started producing baking chocolate.
So, in the end, Baker’s Chocolate is named after the man who started the company – and the fact that he produces baking chocolate is just a happy coincidence. In fact, it’s not the only serendipitous name to come out of the chocolate business.
As mentioned earlier, Baker’s Chocolate makes and sells German chocolate. And it’s not just any German chocolate, it’s the original German chocolate that was used to make the very first German chocolate cake.
That’s right, German chocolate cake didn’t originate in Germany. It actually gets its name from the chocolate it’s made from – German Sweet Chocolate from Baker’s Chocolate. Even stranger, the chocolate itself has nothing to do with Germany either. It is named after the man who created it: Samuel German. It’s all a bit trippy, right?
So of course the name Baker’s Chocolate started out as a way to honor its founder, but it’s a happy accident that gives the iconic brand a second meaning. Today, Baker’s Chocolate is owned by Kraft Heinz, but its name and “The Chocolate Girl” logo continue to remind us of the company’s rich history.