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Special Collections

Dare Foods Limited

Dare Foods Limited.
Dare Foods Limited. - 1892-2003.

12.1 m of textual records.


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Dare Foods Limited is a family-owned business based in Kitchener, Ontario. It manufactures cookies, crackers, candies and fine breads at its seven plants in Ontario, Quebec and South Carolina. Dare candies are made in Toronto and Milton, Ontario.

In 1889, Charles H. Doerr opened a grocery store on the corner of Breithaupt and Gzowski (now Weber) Streets in Berlin (now Kitchener, Ontario) that by 1892 had become a biscuit-manufacturing operation.

In 1919 a larger bakery was built in Kitchener to replace the original plant and at the same time a line of candies was added. In 1942 the Kitchener plant was destroyed by a fire and in 1943 a smaller wartime replacement was constructed on a former flying field on the outskirts of Kitchener. A new office building was constructed in Kitchener in 1952.

In 2003 a new Kitchener office building was constructed to preserve and highlight the original 1952 yellow-brick structure.

The company now known as Dare Foods Limited was originally known as the C.H. Doerr Co. When Charles H. Doerr died in 1941 his grandson, Carl M. Doerr, became President of the company and began an expansion program that introduced Dare products in more than 40 countries.

In 1945 the company and family name was changed from “Doerr” to “Dare” creating The Dare Company, Limited, later renamed Dare Foods Limited. With the help of his sons Bryan and Graham, Carl Dare continued to guide Dare Foods Ltd. until 2002. In Nov. 2002 Fred Jacques was appointed as President, the first non-family member to head the company in 111 years. Bryan and Graham Dare remain co-chairmen of the company’s Board of Directors.

The business history of Dare Foods is complex: it has formed, acquired, merged and dissolved other companies and its own divisions over the years. One of Carl M. Doerr’s first expansion acquisitions was The Howe Candy Company in Hamilton, Ontario. Other acquisitions include Saratoga Products, St. Jacobs Canning Company, Mother Dell’s Bakeries, Dairy Maid Chocolates, Bremner Biscuit Co., Saputo/ Culinar CFS.

In 1960 a sales office was opened in Montreal, establishing Les Aliments Dare Limitée, Dare’s selling and distributing organization in the Province of Quebec. The Western Division was established in 1962 with the opening of a bakery and sales office in North Surrey, Vancouver, B.C., serving British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta.

In 1954 The Dare Company, Limited was the first Canadian cookie company to use the new recloseable tin tie packages that had been used successfully in the coffee industry and which have become standard packaging in the cookie industry in Canada.

Fonds consists of records generated in the course of business by Dare Foods Limited and its subsidiary companies. It includes financial statements; account books; minutes; correspondence; letters patent; legal records; share registers; biscuit, cracker and candy formulas; architectural drawings; biscuit, cracker and candy packaging samples; price lists; photographs; television, radio and print advertisements; publications; artifacts; manuals; the records of J.R. Worthington; internal newsletters; and newspaper clippings.

Fonds also contains the records of The Almer Company Limited and Sunbeam Shoes, companies acquired privately by Carl Dare.

Includes 4.5 m. of textual records ; 1892 photographs ; 4 maps ; 6 architectural drawings ; 22 technical drawings ; 1 plan ; 11 film reels ; 8 audio reels ; 5 audio discs ; 18 audio cassettes ; 66 videocassettes ; 1 CD-ROM ; 22 artifacts.

Acquired from Dare Foods Limited and the Dare family in 2004.

Fonds is divided into 46 series.
Series 1. Day Books and Payroll Journal
Series 2. Minutes and Certificate of Shares
Series 3. Financial Statements
Series 4. Accounting Records
Series 5. Legal Records
Series 6. The Howe Candy Company Limited
Series 7. J.R. Worthington
Series 8. Dare Foods (Canning Division) Limited
Series 9. Major Foods Limited
Series 10. Dare Foods (Potato Chip Division) Limited
Series 11. Dare Archway Franchise
Series 12. The Almer Company Limited
Series 13. Mother Dell's Bakeries Limited
Series 14. Dairy Maid Chocolates Limited
Series 15. Scrapbook
Series 16. Western Division
Series 17. Biscuit Division
Series 18. Magazines and Advertising
Series 19. Dare Foods Limited Manuals
Series 20. Sunbeam Shoes Limited
Series 21. Packaging
Series 22. Product Photographs and Packaging
Series 23. Sales Department Records
Series 24. National Sales Meeting 1989
Series 25. Promotional Display Contests
Series 26. Radio Advertisements
Series 27. Television Advertisements
Series 28. Price Pages and Lists
Series 29. Old Price Pages
Series 30. Product Information Sheets
Series 31. Photographs
Series 32. Moving Images and Sound Recordings
Series 33. Signs
Series 34. Artifacts
Series 35. Centennial Celebrations
Series 36. Builders and Boosters
Series 37. Quebec National Meeting
Series 38. Dare Cookie News
Series 39. Dare Candy News
Series 40. Newspaper Clippings
Series 41. The Dare Story
Series 42. Candy Division
Series 43. Ingredient Listings
Series 44. Big V Drug Stores Anniversary Books
Series 45. Share Transfers
Series 46. Southland Plant

Finding aid available: file level.

There has been one accrual to the fonds (see GA 201).

Call number: GA163

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Last Updated: October 27, 2011