Hometown Heritage – Wilbur Chocolate

An American Original For Over 125 Years

When it comes to great signature foods, Lancaster County has plenty of delicious goodness to go around. Many of us grew up with, or discovered, food favorites that have informed our childhood and will draw us back in search of the tastes that we’ve come to crave.  Welcome to your Hometown Heritage.


The Wilbur family never imagined that a small chocolate drop would change history. As a family who got their start in chocolate-making by chance, the Wilburs went on to create an iconic chocolate that’s been loved and savored by fans for over a century.

As the Civil War was ending in 1865, entrepreneur H.O. Wilbur took a chance on a business opportunity with partner Samuel Croft and started producing molasses and hard candies for sale on passenger trains. Success came easily to Wilbur & Croft, and they expanded within Philadelphia, also adding chocolate-making capabilities to their operations.

As H.O. was nearing retirement, he decided to spin off the chocolate business in 1884, elevating  sons William Nelson Wilbur and Harry L. Wilbur into leadership roles, which created a true family business with a very literal name—H.O. Wilbur & Sons.

Throughout the dynamic and successful period at the end of the 19th century, the Wilbur sons brought other relatives into the fold, including two of H.O.’s brothers who had received training making chocolate in France and Germany.

As a family who relied on their own ingenuity and learned from the world’s finest chocolatiers, the Wilburs are best known for their defining creation:  the Wilbur Bud. This velvety smooth drop has a look that’s inspired by a flower bud, and a rich, distinctive taste that’s inspired by a premium chocolate recipe.

Today, the Wilbur legacy of craftsmanship and care is still at the heart of every Bud and confection they create—and quality is still the ingredient that matters most. Wilbur has produced premium, American made chocolate using the same ingredients for over a century. Sustainably sourced cocoa beans. Fine dairy. Rich vanilla. Together, these ingredients make something more: chocolate that families keep falling in love with—and a taste that’s unmistakably Wilbur.

As part of the Cargill family of brands, Wilbur is also committed to a promise that guides how they do business. The Cargill Cocoa Promise supports farmer training, farm development, and cocoa community support. That means when you buy Wilbur Buds and chocolate bars, you’re taking an important step to support sustainability and to support farmers and families around the world.

Stop by Wilbur Chocolate’s downtown Lititz store to see their craft kitchen in action, stock up on your favorite treats, and sample a few Buds! You can also place standard and bulk orders for delivery across the U.S. at WilburBuds.com.

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