One of my favorite candy bars is making the big comeback!

For years I've loved the Mallo Cup candy with the whipped creme center made by the Boyer Candy Company in Altoona, PA. Bob and Bill Boyer started making the candy in 1917 from their mom's kitchen in Pittsburgh. The brothers started the business by making fudge, and later expanded to other treats, including the Mallo Cup.

The beginning was trial and error for the brothers. They started the Mallo Cup by trying to cover marshmallows in chocolate, but the process failed. Then, their mother suggested using a smaller version of cupcake papers and it was an immediate success. They made Mallo Cups and Peanut Butter Cups and Smoothie Cups, becoming the first-ever cup candy in America. Yes, the Boyer Brothers were making peanut butter cups before Reese's.

A few years after their cup candy became a hit, the brothers introduced their "play money" program. Each Mallo Cup was placed in the wrapper on top of the cardboard "play money" that could be collected, and then redeemed for prizes and more candy.

Photo by Bill Keeler / WIBX
Photo by Bill Keeler / WIBX

The "play money" ranged from five cents to a dollar. Collect enough and get cash back, more candy or eventually, even tee-shirts and mugs.

As the popularity of the cup candy continued to grow the "Play Money" program was introduced. The consumer received a coin card ranging in value from five cents to one dollar in each candy bar This enabled the consumer to save the coins and redeem them for free candy. This program is still in effect today and encourages repeat sales and brings back wonderful nostalgic memories of childhood. Merchandise such as sweatshirts, watches, hats, tote bags and many others have been added to the list that the consumer can now trade for their coins. -website


The Boyer Brothers sold the company in 1969 to New York entrepreneur Anthony Forgione, who still owns the company today, which produces a variety of candies from the cups to the Clark Bar in Altoon, PA.

The Mallo Cup "play money" program continues today with people collecting the cards and then turning them in for goodies. 1,300 points will get you a box of candy, and 1,500 points is worth a Mallo Cup mug. Collect and redeem 2,200 points and you can receive either a Mallo Cup or Clark Bar tee shirt.

By the way, did you ever wonder where marshmallows come from? Today, it's a recipe of sugar, corn starch, and gelatin, but, years ago it actually was made from, believe it or not,  the marshmallow plant. It was originally a medicinal confection made from the root of the - Marsh Mallow, otherwise known as the Althaea officinalis which grows about 4-feet tall near a marsh.

You learn something every day.


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