The classic Almond Roca candy is well-known and well-loved, with its toffee center, chocolate enrobing, and crushed almond pieces. The candy, and Brown & Haley, the company, have roots locally in the city of Tacoma. Now one hundred and eight years old, the company began because of a friendship between Harry L. Brown, who owned a small confectionary store of his own, and J. C. Haley, who had a special flair for marketing and sales. The duo launched Brown & Haley in 1912, and their families have continued the legacy by making the candy company into one of the top selling candy companies in the world.
Almond Roca, the most famous candy creation of Brown & Haley’s, had its first taste of worldwide popularity in the early 1940s when it was shipped in care packages to American troops in Europe. Brown & Haley also created the Mountain bar, named originally for Mount Tacoma itself. The Almond Roca, which stood alone in the Roca brand until 2002 and the creation of the Mocha Roca, is affectionately known as “The Candy That Travels” for its international influence.
Every year, the 80,000 square-foot Brown & Haley plant in Tacoma uses over two million pounds of chocolate. Twelve thousand pounds of those each day are reserved for the Roca candies. Last year, the factory briefly closed in order to reinstall new machinery that allows for Rocas to be wrapped at a rate of over two thousand pieces per minute.
This year, Brown & Haley is working to expand the popularity of the Roca candies even more with the introduction of Roca Bites. Retaining the classic flavors of Almond, Milk Chocolate, and Dark Chocolate, Roca Bites are a third of the size of the original Roca, and half as thick. The Bites are made with the same premium ingredients as the traditional candies, with the addition of 100% sustainably sourced cacao.
This is an exciting new addition to the classic local candy brand the nation has come to love. Brown & Haley’s is certainly one of the sweetest parts of the city, from its historical roots and the birth of the company over one hundred years ago to its newest products and plans for the future. To visit the store in the heart of Tacoma, or to purchase candies, visit Brown & Haley’s website or store location at 110 E 26th St, Tacoma, WA 98421.