DID YOU KNOW: The history of wine gums? It is only a little more than 100 years old and it started with sweet and chewy English wine gums. The first company to introduce wine gums were Maynard’s Sweets in 1909. Charles Riley Maynard started a handmade confectionary shop with his brother Tom and his wife Anne served the shop’s customers. Maynard’s son Charles Gordon Maynard joined the family business and he was the one who came up with wine gums – and was nearly fired for his creation. The story goes that the old Maynard came close to dismiss his son on the spot. It took a long time and a lot of perseverance to persuade the father, a conservative Christian, that there was no wine in a wine gum.
Subsequently, sometime in the 1920s, a poor sugar factory worker quit his job and went home with a bag of sugar, a kettle, and a marble board. He started making sweets in his kitchen. His wife took the candy to small local shops in her bicycle basket, while he stayed home by the sugar kettle. Eventually the couple decided to use cool elastic gelatine in their products and mould their wine gums as small dancing teddy bears – and today’s world-famous original wine gum was born.