If you live in the Cleveland area, chances are that you’re familiar with the delicate white and pink packaging of a Malley’s chocolate bar. What was once a small mom and pop operation, Malley’s chocolates now boasts 23 retail locations across Northeast Ohio, an online store, and countless fundraiser opportunities. Malley’s is known for their special recipes and techniques when it comes to chocolate making—whether it’s classic truffles and chocolate covered nuts, or more eclectic options such as their chocolate covered potato chips or Oreos (known affectionately as “Malley Oh’s!”)
While many are familiar with the Malley’s brand and its sweet treats, few know the story behind Malley’s. Keep reading to learn more about this “sweet” family legacy!
1935 –The Great Depression is well underway. Albert “Mike” Malley, however is focusing on his lifelong dream: to open his own chocolate shop. He was able to gather $500 to rent a store space in Lakewood, OH. Mike, his wife “Jo”, and their children lived in the back rooms of the space. Slowly but surely, Mike’s dream started to take form.
In 1949 Mike opened a second Malley’s location. By this time, reputation about Malley’s chocolates had spread across the community. On opening night of this new location, police were called in to help control the crowds!
One of Mike’s children, Bill, took a special interest in the family business. He incorporated several new ideas into the growing company and assured the continued development of the increasingly notable chocolate company.
Bill became President of Malley’s chocolates in 1967. Under his leadership, sales grew even more and soon a larger factory was needed to keep up with increasing demand. Bill’s wife, Adele also contributed to the success of Malley’s chocolates through her attention to detail and design. Adele was so talented at product presentation, store layout, and general design that she founded Malley’s School of Merchandising in 1983 with the intent to help similar businesses in accomplishing their goals.
Bill and Adele led Malley’s into so much success that they were both inducted into the Candy Hall of Fame in 2014. The couple has also received special recognition from Retail Confectioners International and have been deemed Emeritus Master Chocolatiers. All six of their children work for the Malley’s company to this day.
Sadly, Bill Malley passed away in October 2016. He is buried at Saint Joseph Cemetery in Avon. His final resting place is marked by a symbol of his hard work and dedication – the iconic Malley’s bunny. His unique monument represents his legacy of creating community and joy that will continue to live on in others.
Information gathered from: https://malleys.com/ Post written by Katie Karpinski and Gabrielle Sergi