HOW IT ALL BEGAN
In 1914, the American Licorice Company’s factory began in a small rented space on West Jackson Boulevard in Chicago, founded by Martin Kretchmer, a man who started his career selling wares on the streets of Chicago out of a small cart, and his son Frank Kretchmer and son-in-law Peter Shock. Fast forward to one hundred years later, and the company remains a proud family-owned company, with their great grandchildren running the company, and the fifth generation joining the ranks.
The Company’s first product was Black Licorice Twists. During the depression black licorice cigarettes and licorice cigars were made. At the time, every metropolitan center in the country (except for the southern states) had at least one licorice manufacturer. All the licorice was sold unwrapped and was generally not shipped outside the metropolitan areas.
By 1920, operations were moved to a building at 2321 N. Keystone, Chicago, purchased from a company that had previously manufactured munitions during WWI.