Peter Paul Halajian


Peter Paul Halajian was an Armenian immigrant to America in the 1880s, who worked a full-time job in a rubber factory and worked part-time running a fruit stand with his daughters. The fruit business slowly became his mainstay, especially after he started making candies at home and selling them to commuters at train stations in Connecticut's Naugatuck Valley. Since Americans had difficulty pronouncing his last name, he simply left it off his sign when he moved his snack stand into a more permanent business. By the late 1910s Halajian had 'Peter Paul' snack shops in both Torrington and Naugatuck, and in 1919, with six business partners, he formed the Peter Paul Manufacturing Company of Connecticut.

The company's first success was the Konabar, a blended coconut, fruit, and nut concoction covered with chocolate, but it was the introduction of the Mounds bar in 1922 that made Peter Paul a major player in the candy business. Almond Joy was introduced in 1946, almost twenty years after Halajian's death. His company was purchased by Cadbury Schweppes in 1978, then acquired by Hershey in 1988.