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Our Story

In 1973 Harbor Sweets' founder, Ben Strohecker challenged himself to create the "best piece of candy in the world", regardless of cost. The result from his kitchen was the Sweet Sloops®, a sailboat shaped piece of almond butter crunch, covered in white chocolate dipped in dark chocolate and crushed pecans. Shortly after Ben moved the company out of his basement a partnership started to emerge when a Salem State College sophomore applied for a job as a part-time chocolate dipper at the tiny new candy factory on the Salem, Massachusetts waterfront.

Since that time the college sophomore took on more operational, financial and marketing responsibilities (wedging in a Master’s Degree in Business Management, nights and weekends) and worked her way up to President of the Company. The owner of the candy factory, meanwhile, worked just as hard, but for fewer hours, while also pursuing watercolors and an improved first serve.

Both were delighted when the partnership was reversed: the part-time candy dipper now owns the company, and the former owner still mentors her, a pleasant task since both share a dedication to protect the policies that make Harbor Sweets different...policies like fresh butter, fresh cream, no preservatives, the best chocolate, the best service, and a workplace where all employees are treated with dignity and respect. This is a heartwarming story, a story of the miracles which still can happen in our country.

We look forward to continuing our tradition of providing the best gift chocolates in the world, and in spite of our encouraging growth, we remain committed to be small, friendly, fiercely independent and in touch with our blessings. Blessings like you.


Phyllis LeBlanc, President, C.E.O. (Former part-time candy dipper)

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