July 14, 2009 (CHICAGO) --
South Side candymaker Cupid Candies has started producing the No. 1-selling Frango product -- 1-pound boxes of the mint chocolates -- for local Macy's department stores. The start of production, to be announced Tuesday by Macy's and Cupid Candies executives, comes a year-and-a-half after production was expected to start. The 73-year-old Cupid Candies had to go through lengthy processes to get mandatory certificates, including kosher certification from the Chicago Rabbinical Council.
The Frangos will be shipped from Cupid's factory at 7637 S. Western Ave. to Macy's stores throughout the Chicago area, a Macy's spokeswoman confirmed Monday.
"This is the Frango market," she said.
The production is meaningful to Chicagoans outraged by the 1999 outsourcing of Frango production to Pennsylvania under Dayton Hudson, and then outraged again when Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren jettisoned Marshall Field's and replaced it with Macy's in September 2006.
Frango's existing manufacturer, Gertrude Hawk Chocolates in Pennsylvania, will continue to make all other types of Frangos, as well as Frango cookies.
Frango's return is one of several deals that Macy's has inked with Chicago-based food makers and bakers: Macy's started serving Oberweis Ice Cream two years ago in the Frango Cafe at State Street. The 94-year-old Oberweis dairy is headquartered in North Aurora. Sarah Levy, the daughter of Levy Restaurant co-founder Mark Levy and the niece of Levy Restaurant Chairman Larry Levy, opened her second Sarah's Pastries & Candies shop on the main floor of Macy's State Street store in the fall of 2007. Macy's chose Chicago-based Eli's Cheesecake to make a Frango Mint cheesecake for the 62 former Field's stores.