The last Fanny Farmer store closed during the early 2000s. The chain was established in 1919 by Frank O'Connor, a Canadian businessman and founder of Toronto's Laura Secord Candy Shops. The first Farmer store opened in Rochester, New York.
The name of the business was derived from the creator of the Boston Cooking School, Fannie Farmer. The company grew to over 400 stores. Some of its best-selling products were butter creams, maple walnut candies, parfait bars, almond bark and orange creams. Fanny Farmer did well during the Great Depression. During World War II, rationing in the United States allowed the company to send many of its products to soldiers overseas.
In 1962, a group of New York and New England investors took control, and Fanny Farmer grew slightly. Russell Stover, another candy company, bought Farmer in 1965. The Rochester factory and its flagship store in the city closed within two years.
In 1984, Chocamerican, an American holding company for a French business, purchased Fanny Farmer. At that point, about 250 stores were scattered along the East Coast, in the Midwest and in Florida. Chocamerican sold the remaining stores -- approximately 200 -- to the Archibald Candy Corporation in 1992. For that year, Fannie Farmer was expected to make $40 million in sales.