Bergen County Historical Society
Bogert's Candy Kitchen

The Bogert Candy Kitchen was founded by Cornelius A. Bogert in 1887 in Hackensack, New Jersey. Cornelius learned about the candy business from his uncle in Williamsport, PA where he first had a store. Upon his retirement, his daughter and son-in-law managed the store until it closed in 1930.

His homemade, quality candies, including chocolates, taffies and his hard candy known as Clear Toy Candies, were well known throughout Bergen County in late 19th and early 20th century. The Clear Toy Candies were created by combining and heating sugar, water and corn syrup, and pouring it into molds. These molds produced candies in the shape of numerous figures, animals and objects such as horses, tables and teacups. Customers went to his store weekly to purchase his candies. Many parents regularly bought matching Clear Toy Candies in the shape of cups and saucers, tables and pitchers for their children. These candies were especially popular items during the holidays when families would often decorate their Christmas trees with the Clear Toy Candies, though it is doubtful that they hung long on the trees before children took them off and ate them.      

Photo marked 270 Union Street, Hackensack.
The store had different locations in Hackensack.
Interior of the store. Daughter May Bogert pictured on left.
May and her husband Cornelius Quackenbush bought the store in 1914.

    Since the Store’s close in 1930, the original cast zinc alloy & antimony molds (Thomas Mills & Bros., Philadelphia made many of the molds) have passed down from generation to generation. Today, the molds are in the possession of Jeanne Newman, Cornelius Bogert’s granddaughter, and her husband Gus, who reside in Hackensack. Jeanne, Gus and their children, who now possess some of the many molds, still make the Clear Toy Candies during the holidays and donate some of them to the Bergen County Historical Society for sale during their Colonial Christmas events. My parents and the Newmans have both been actively involved in the Bergen County Historical Society. In December for as long as I can remember, my family has had the privilege of making these candies with the Newmans for the Historical Society. These are some of my fondest memories. It is something I look forward to every year, and is truly a unique experience.

           The candies have such an interesting history behind them and it has been a wonderful tradition in my family.
– Anna Wright
In 1852, Cornelius was orphaned at a very young age when the shipping schooner his father ran went down in a storm off the Jersey coast. Both parents were aboard.
Cornelius Bogert
The Bergen Record photo from the early 1960s. Newman children demonstrate how it's done. Ned, Tom and Neal continue to pour candies with their parents and children.
Candy mixture coming up to 300 degrees. Molds clamped and oiled.
Pouring the sugar, syrup and water mixture into the molds. Careful -- it is very hot!
Some of the tools of the trade from the original store.
Photo supplied by Neal Newman.
Clear toy candies from orginal molds.
Just some of the mold figures: Lovebirds, acorn, baby buggy, Saint Nick, sugar bowl, clown, a woman's hand with ring, a man's hand, chicken in a basket, rooster, Battleship Olympia, mule, pony, boy in a boat, smoking pipe, table, reindeer, pocket watch, statue of WIllam Penn, statue of Columbia, cruet set, pitcher, large dog lying down, dog sitting, cat, early automobile, Santa in sleigh, large pig, busts of Rought Rider Teddy Roosevelt, Admiral Dewey and President Taft, trains and a person pushing a baby in a carraige.

– Deborah Powell