After doing FNY for 15 years, I’ll admit there aren’t many remaining major ancient painted ads I’m not familiar with in Manhattan at least, but this one, on Clarkson Street west of Hudson, did surprise me. I knew it can’t be older than the 1960s, since the Helvetica font is prominent, but I did think it was for a now-closed company.

That’s because I usually don’t frequent shops like Murray’s Cheese Shop, Russ & Daughters, and Fairway, where Kopper’s is a familiar name in candy. The brand doesn’t have the reach of Hershey’s or Reese’s, but it’s a familar name to many Manhattanites.

Kopper’s has been in business since it was founded by Fred Stern in 1937, and has been family-operated since. It was formerly located on 18 Waverly Place, but relocated to Clarkson Street in the 1980s, which is probably when the sign was painted. The company claims to be the first to produce a version of what is now Mars M&Ms. Kopper’s takes its name from the copper kettles that were initially used in candy production.

Real-Life ‘Willy Wonka’ Chocolate Factory Has 70-Year History in Village [DNAinfo]


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  1. Stephanie says:

    You’ll also see it a lot in Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods because it’s a big kosher brand. They also produce a lot of kosher-for-Passover candies; their coffee beans (solid mocha chocolate shaped to look like coffee beans, with a nice caffeine kick) has always been a favorite of mine.

  2. Joe Brennan says:

    Hershey’s M&Ms were called Hershey-ets. You don’t see those around any more.

  3. Jeff B says:

    M&Ms are not made by Hershey – they are made by Mars, Inc.

  4. Al_C says:

    Seems you really know your fonts Kevin.

    A loooong time ago I worked for Mergenthaler Linotype. You would have really enjoyed touring the font vault in Plainview Long Island. Some real history in there.

  5. Tonia says:

    Thanks a ton for applying time in order to compose “KOPPER

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