The Bunnies Are Back!

The Bunnies Are Back!

Spring is almost here and the bunnies are back at Winans! We’ve been busy at the factory making marshmallow, bagging up novelty Easter candies and of course, making lots and lots of chocolate bunnies!
Winans has been making chocolate molds for over 50 years! Chocolatiers began using chocolate molds in the mid-1830s in France. These molds were made of sheet copper, stamped with geometric shapes to make solid chocolate candies in mass quantities. Prior to the advent of chocolate molds, chocolate was consumed in liquid form only. As the popularity of molded chocolate rose, small animals and other figures were also created in mold form.

Max Winans, founder of Winans, used metal molds from Germany. Many of the metal molds that Winans owns were made by Anton Reiche. Some are just marked as being from West Germany. Anton Reiche is a famous mold manufacturer from Dresden, Germany. He founded his mold company in 1870. German mold manufacturers excelled at making chocolate molds in a variety of sizes with incredible detail and designs. Molds of sitting rabbits or bunnies are the most common of the antique chocolate molds.
2 Metal Bunny Molds Display
We still make many of the molds that Max Winans first made at Winans in the 1960s, but we no longer use the original metal molds. Max took the metal molds and had them recast in plastic. This allows us to make more bunny molds at a time and results in a higher quality mold.

In March of 1978, the Piqua Daily Call published an article about the large collection of chocolate molds Max had acquired over the years. Check out the article, Molds / More to them than chocolate!
Chocolate picks up any imperfections in the mold. Over time metal molds lose shine and are easily scratched, both the lack of shine and scratches would show up in the chocolate. With the plastic reproduction of our original molds we are able to carry on Max’s traditions while still creating beautifully molded chocolate! Our sitting and standing bunnies, as well as our bunnies with backpacks, walking sticks, carts, baskets (as well as Race Car Bunny!) are all cast from our original metal molds. The Floppy Ear Bunny and the Big Eye Bunny are much younger than our other bunnies.
3 Metal Bunny Molds Details
Since we no longer use most of our original metal molds, we have them on display in our Hometown Store in Piqua! If you look closely at the molds, you might notice their manufacturing mark (many of them were made in Germany by Anton Reiche) or see where Max soldered the clips onto the mold. Most molds are multiple pieces and have to be clamped together with clips. To keep track of his clips and make the molds easier to use, Max soldered the clips onto one of the pieces of the mold. Today our plastic molds are held together with magnets!
4 Plastic Bunny Molds
In order to make our molded bunnies today, warm, tempered chocolate is poured into each mold. Then the molds have to be shaken in order to remove bubbles and evenly distribute the chocolate. The chocolate molds sit in a cold, refrigerated room until the chocolate is solidified and can be removed from the molds. Sometimes excess chocolate has to be trimmed or shaved from the bunny before it can be packaged and sent to a store or a customer at home.
5 Bunny Molds Need Trimmed
Our bunnies are available in milk, dark and white chocolate. A few of our bunnies are also made in peanut butter. Our biggest bunny is Big Max, named after Max Winans! He weighs in at 20 pounds and was first introduced in 2013.
We hope that one of our many molded bunnies will be part of your family’s Easter tradition this year!

If you want to learn more about chocolate molds, check out these resources below:
Das Schokoladenformen Museum: The Chocolate Molds Museum
Dad’s Follies: Antiques & Collectibles Metal Chocolate Molds—The Beginning
The Golden Glow of Christmas Past: Vintage Christmas Collectibles Christmas Chocolate/Candy Molds

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What Winans Thinks of Sweetest Day

Welcome friends!

Celebrated every October in the U.S., Sweetest Day is a holiday many believe to be made up by industries to boost sales before the upcoming holiday season. Couples from all over will be put under societies pressures to buy and out-perform others for their “sweetie”. We would like to tell you a different story…
It is a little-known fact that Sweetest Day was actually launched in Cleveland, OH. The holiday originated in 1922, in the midst of the docile times of The Great Depression. You may be surprised to find out that Sweetest Day is celebrated in very few regions of the United States, mainly the Great Lakes area. At Winans we also like to celebrate it by promoting the holiday and to encourage our customers to celebrate Sweetest Day traditionally and in the modern sense.
The origin and purpose of Sweetest Day are actually quite interesting. Herbert Birch Kingston is the man responsible for starting the holiday. Kingston was an employee of a candy company and philanthropist. It all began when he and several other candy confectioners took the effort to distribute 20,000 boxes of candy to newsboys, orphans, the elderly, shut-ins and other forgotten people of the local area. Kingston believed that people in that time needed something to make them feel a little sweeter, and who better to give to than the people who had nothing? The holiday did not become popular until these efforts were recognized elsewhere and the word spread.
Later, in the 1940’s, a similar occurrence of philanthropy occurred in New York and several charities and orphanages were donated thousands of boxes of candy. At this time the holiday was proclaimed to occur on the third Saturday of every October. Not until the 60’s did Hallmark begin making greeting cards for Sweetest Day, thus, voiding the term “Hallmark Holiday”.
Today, as previously mentioned, the holiday is celebrated in a romantic sense. It is viewed as another holiday for people to “woo” the one that they are after. However, we want to encourage you to celebrate Sweetest Day in its origin as well. We hope that this year you spread some happiness to the less fortunate or someone in your life that you know works really hard and never gets recognition for it! Friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, the janitor at your school, a teacher, or any number of other people would certainly appreciate a small token of your care and appreciation. (It would not hurt to take a box of chocolate home to your husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend either!) As a chocolate company who donates to several charities over the course of the year, we would love to see our customers pay it forward as well.
Enjoy the holiday and spread the word about what the Sweetest Day of the year really entails. We hope to see you in our stores soon to find that perfect gift for someone special. Thanks for visiting us here on the blog!
This information was found from Sweetest Day Born in Ohio from the Mount Vernon News and Sweetest Day – National Holiday Founded in Cleveland By Sandy Mitchell

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