How did Franklin Clarence Mars make the world-famous bars?
Franklin Clarence Mars is the one who invented the most delicious chocolate bars that have been known and loved for generations – “Mars” and “Snickers”. A brilliant businessman managed to make a fortune on sweets, and today we will find out what was his life path and to whom we owe a favorite dainty of childhood.
So, Franklin Mars (for short, let’s call him that) was a talented entrepreneur, a born businessman, a successful US magnate. Franklin was born September 24th in Newport, Minnesota. His family, as is the case with most ambitious billionaires, was poor. And the boy was also seriously ill. As a child he was diagnosed with polio, so Frank couldn’t walk without crutches and didn’t go to school either. He was helping his mother in the kitchen, so he learned the intricacies of cooking early on. His mom started making sweets, which she then sold at the market. And Franklin realized it was his way to be a famous pastry chef. Eventually, after reaching the age of 19, the guy started working in the sweets business.
Franklin Mars and his bars of the same name
But the business road wasn’t smooth for Franklin at first. He was bankrupt three times, but he wasn’t discouraged. He had his own house, and he married the love of his life – Ethel. Later, Ethel became his chief business navigator.
At 28, Franklin got tired of working for his uncle and started his own business. Together with his wife they started trading sweets – the young pastry chef was very good at his business. They didn’t have the money to rent a store or buy even the meanest room, but the resourceful couple set up business right in their house – and they sold sweets through the window. The Mars family’s delicacies quickly gained popularity, and in 1911 the couple opened the Mar-O-Bar company. Business was rapidly moving into the mountains. Mars had its own factory, which employed 125 employees. In 1920 the family moved to Minneapolis, where Mars invented the legendary Milky Way, which gained popularity around the world. In the United States, the Great Depression had just begun, which stopped many factories and plants. The Milky Way cost a nickel and was in crazy demand, which helped the couple survive the crisis. And in 1925, Milky Way became the sales leader in America. Here in Minneapolis, Mars invented Mars Almond, Musketeers, and finally the famous Snickers.
Interestingly, the muse for Frank’s new products was his own son. In 1904 Ethel gave her beloved boy named Forest, in which Franklin did not tease. The story of “Milky Way” began as follows: Mars and his son Forest went to the store, where the child asked to buy him chocolate. It was a hot summer, and chocolate was only sold by weight. It was awfully uncomfortable, the chocolate was smearing and getting your hands dirty. And Frank had a brilliant idea – what if you sold small bars of chocolate wrapped in foil? Mars found the idea promising. And he often thought about it in interviews and memoirs.
The family drama did not pass Mars by – the marriage with Ethel broke up for unknown reasons, when Forrest was only six.
Forrest grew up and followed in his father’s footsteps. He and his partner created the world-famous M&M firm, and M&M’s candy.