About Platter's Chocolates
1938. Lean times. Tough times. What can a man do to make a living? Carl Platter decided to do what friends and family said he did best…make chocolate. “Not just any chocolate Carl, but that chocolate you make with your recipe for orange flavoring”. So Carl started Platter’s Chocolate in the basement of his North Tonawanda, NY home.
Without a store front, Carl’s wife Vera would go door to door throughout the town selling Platter’s Orange Chocolate. Carl and Vera made their chocolate affordable, and families were delighted to have a special “treat” in these very difficult times. A tradition was started.
Times got better, and Carl and Vera’s business grew. To keep their chocolate affordable, when their basement ran out of space and a showroom was needed, they rented the basement of the house next door. Amazingly, Carl and some friends constructed a tunnel under the driveway connecting them both.
As time went on, people throughout North Tonawanda, NY knew “the secret”, and had to have their Orange Chocolate, especially during the Easter Season. So Carl and Vera began molding their Chocolate into Easter Bunnies. It got so when a family left the area, they wouldn’t allow visitors from the “old neighborhood” unless they brought along Platter’s Chocolate. Carl and Vera worked the business until their retirement in the late 1960’s.
A boy by the name of Roger Urban grew up down the street from Platters. Roger owned and operated the local Pharmacy. In 1972, Roger purchased Platters Chocolate and said good bye to the Pharmacy business. Roger knew that others outside of the North Tonawanda area would find the rich, creamy, milk and orange chocolate irresistible, so he began wholesaling to Drug Stores and Delicatessens in other parts of Western New York.
Roger was right! In 1974, Platters moved from the “dual basements” to a newly built 3,000 sq ft building. In 1982, Platters added an additional 7,000 sq ft addition. The secret was getting out!
In 1992, Roger purchased Betty Dixon Candies of Jamestown, NY. More and more customers were asking for additional chocolates such as Creams, Caramels, Jellies, and especially Sponge Candy. A perfect compliment to the molded Milk and Orange Chocolate Platter’s has become known for. With business continuing to grow, Roger’s sons, Bruce and Joe, joined their sister Sherry in what was truly becoming a family business. TRIVIA: Legend has it that a tremendously famous female Comedian originally from Jamestown NY once worked a short time at Betty Dixon, prompting one of her funniest episodes ever! HINT: She had Red Hair.
In 1993, tragedy struck. Right in the middle of merging two manufacturing facilities, Roger was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He passed away at the young age of 59. He is missed every day. Grief stricken, the family was more determined then ever to see Roger’s dream through.
Roger’s law; “provide a quality product at a price folks can afford. That’s the way Old Man Platter did it, and that’s the way we do it”.
In 1995, another 7,000 sq ft was added to make it possible to increase production WITHOUT compromising quality. Also, at the urging of our customers, this space allowed us to expand our retail store to 2,000 sq ft, displaying all our Chocolates along with unique gifts. In the summer months we have added Platter’s Ice Cream Shoppe to help you cool down on a hot day. Our special “Orange Flavored” Hot Fudge has become a favorite topping for any of our 18 flavors of hard and soft ice cream!
In 2004, again, at the EXTREME urging of our wonderful customers, we have added our On-Line Store. As you can see, our products have been a local secret. Many of our customers who grew up with the Platter’s tradition have relocated. They call us and we ship them their “fix”. Then their neighbors “sneak” some while their backs are turned and they’re “hooked”. Well, now you can conveniently order everything you need On-Line, from our delectable Sponge Candy to our traditional Orange Chocolates.
From all of us at Platter’s Chocolate, we thank you for your business, we welcome your comments, and we hope to hear from you soon and often!