A Shared American Experience
Around the mid-1900s Americans began to hit the road. After returning from the war and as their families started to grow – Americans wanted to get out and see our great country. With the advent of the Interstate Highway System and affordable cars (and gas), that was now a possibility. One such destination was the expansive beaches of Atlantic City, New Jersey. Families would load up their station wagons and make a day trip "Down The Shore." It was a truly shared American Experience.
The Jersey Shore provided an experience like no other. Whether it be carnival rides, oddities, sunbathing, or delectable treats — Atlantic City had it all.
One such treat was homemade chocolates!
From vanilla caramels to chocolate-covered raspberry jellies, chocolatiers quickly scrambled to provide an alternative to the already popular salt water taffy.
For James Bayard Kelly II it was less of a scramble and more of a realization. Using only the finest and purest ingredients, Kelly made his first batch of chocolates from scratch in 1939. To his surprise, it was astonishingly good and he decided to try to sell it from his own home. It didn’t take long for word to spread about Kelly’s in-home chocolates and they became an instant local favorite.
This realization inspired Kelly, and his son who joined in on the family business, to expand beyond their home. His son liked the concept of giving customers a unique experience and making them feel at home while picking out their handmade goods and proposed to go the non-traditional route of keeping their stores out of storefronts and in houses. And so Bayard’s Chocolate House opened three new chocolate houses in Cherry Hill, Cinnaminson, and Pennsauken.
Customers raved not only about the sweet and creamy chocolates but the experience they would have when they visited each unique chocolate house. There was always a line of customers waiting to get in and once through the doors, they were welcomed by meticulous displays with glass shelving and stacks of chocolates inspired by displays you would see in the finest European chocolate shops.
With the overwhelming selection of chocolates and their various fillings and flavors, it was understandably difficult to pick just one. The goal at Bayard’s was to give each customer a memorable experience by allowing them to handpick their own pieces for custom packaging.
Today, Bayard’s Chocolate lovers can still satisfy their cravings and feel right at home with the same recipes that Kelly originally introduced in 1939.
Stop at the James Candy shop on the boardwalk of Atlantic City and take part in some of America’s favorite treats – Bayard’s Chocolates. Or have some delivered right to your door.