HEATH Bar turns 95!

HEATH Bar turns 95!

Zoey Rinesmith, Editor

The Heath Bar, one of the most know candies around downstate Illinois turned 95 years old in 2023. This delicious chocolate coated English toffee, was born right here in Crawford County. The man that started in all, Lawrence Seymour Heath, was originally a school teacher. He bought a running confectionery shop in Robinson, IL as business opportunity for his oldest sons, Bayard Heath, and Everett Heath. The brothers opened a combination candy store, ice cream parlor and manufacturing operation there in 1914.

The heath bar started grow in popularity during the Depression. These bars were made by hand until 1942 but after the US Army placed an order of 175,000 dollars they were made on a major commercial scale. The Heath Bar was known to have a long shelf life, so the US Army included the Heath bar included them in the soldiers rations throughout  World War II.

The Heath Co. gained more and more population after the war. The manufacturing process was largely hands on, and family run operation with all four of L.S. Heath’s sons, his two daughters, and several grandchildren. In the 1950’s the Heath Toffee Ice Cream Bar was developed and franchised into other dairies.

Later, in 1989 the company was sold to a Finnish company, Leaf, Inc. which in turn was acquired by Hershey. Hershey ha made what is known as the Skor Bar to compete with the Heath Bar before buying the company.

The candy bar now weighs about 1.4 ounces and is made with milk chocolate, sugar, palm oil, dairy butter (milk), almonds, salt, artificial flavor, and soy lecithin. One thing that has not changed is the brown and gold color scheme, and the slogan on the seal claiming Heath as the “Finest Quality English Toffee”.