The Manufacturing Confectioner Publishing Company publishes trade magazines and directories in the confectionery and surfactant industries. It was founded in 1921 in Chicago, Illinois, and currently is headquartered in Princeton, Wisconsin. In 2014, the Manufacturing Confectioner celebrated its 93rd anniversary as a strong and successful family-owned business.
The Manufacturing Confectioner was first published as the Candy Manufacturer in 1921 out of its office in the Chicago Stock Exchange building at 30 North LaSalle Street. Founded by Earl R. Allured, the magazine had what at that time was an innovative focus: to provide advanced information on production, management, economics, raw materials, marketing and other topics vital to the confectionery industry. Earl had previously worked for 5 years in the advertising department of Candy & Ice Cream, the “youngest and liveliest” trade magazine in the confectionery field. His vision, however, was to create a magazine which was uniquely devoted to the more technical aspects of candy production and sales.
The mission of the Manufacturing Confectioner reflected the vision that Earl had for the confectionery industry — to advance the technology of the industry from the “kettle tradition.” He was well attuned to the profound changes that were occurring in business and industry at that time.
Earl wanted to help the industry broaden its perspective from just manufacturing to work cooperatively with related industries such as packaging, baking and raw materials suppliers. His was not just a one-man venture. He rallied the presidents in these various industries to share their knowledge and to work towards the greater good of the industry. Earl was a man of vision and enthusiasm. Although some in the industry felt the articles at that time were too technical (such as an early series on coloring, textures and inversions of sugar), time has proven Mr. Allured correct.
In addition to being a zealous businessman, Earl was also an artist. While he was meeting with a prospective advertiser, he would often design the ad right on the spot. He could immediately get his approval and then go run it. Thus he was much attuned to the needs of the client and to delivering his product with a high level of service.
To this day one could easily debate whether MC Publishing Company primarily provides products or services, because both are vital functions of the company. At times they each require a different mindset — one production oriented, and the other person oriented.
In 1923 Miss Prudence Walker married Earl Allured and helped him establish his newly launched magazine. She was a steady presence in the company until Earl’s sudden and untimely death of a heart attack in 1931. She then assumed the leadership of the ten-year-old magazine, an enormous challenge for a widow with three young children, particularly in that pre-World War II depression era. Prudence, however, was no ordinary woman.
At the time of her husband’s death, she already had a significant amount of business experience. She was the first woman to receive a degree in Economics and Business Administration from Colorado College. She had worked in the law department of Swift & Company, had served as editor of a monthly bulletin for the American Library Association, and had edited the first directory for the Illinois Manufacturers Association.
Mrs. Allured gained the confidence of many of the people who were engaged in research and other technical areas. Their findings and ideas were published in her magazine. To aid in advancing the industry from “kettle craft” to a science, she encouraged candy and raw materials scientists to put their knowledge into articles and books. She published Walter Richmond’s works in candy formulas, which are still standards in the industry. She helped plan the first confectionery sales and distribution analysis issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The analysis is still issued annually and is one of the most complete reports available in any industry. The National Candy Wholesalers Association (NCWA), National Confectioners Association (NCA) and American Association of Candy Technologists (AACT) formally honored her for her work. She was the first woman to receive the Stroud Jordan award presented by the AACT to honor individuals who have selflessly devoted their time to help the confectionery industry.
Before most businesses in the United States thought about selling outside the country, Mrs. Allured worked to produce a truly global publication. Her vision established the Manufacturing Confectioner as a worldwide resource.
To aid sales and distribution of candy, Prudence Allured founded the Candy Buyers’ Directory in 1931, which lists wholesale candy manufacturers along with the brands and products they produce. The Candy Buyers’ Directory is considered the bible of the retail and wholesale candy buyers.
Earl and Prudence were successful because they had a dream of working for the betterment of the industry. They were more than a clip-and-paste publisher. They were heavily involved with their readers-one of the secrets to the success of the MC that is still practiced today. While there have been tremendous advances in publishing technology, none of these technical advances have replaced the value of the information that the MC provides through both the magazine itself and through extensive personal contact with people in the industry.
Prudence and Earl’s sons entered the business following World War II. Even though Chicago is centrally located, it was important to have an office on the East Coast. In 1958 Allen established a permanent office in Glen Rock, New Jersey — a location chosen for its proximity to Manhattan, area airports, and with a good school system. Stanley remained at the Chicago office.
The Manufacturing Confectioner Publishing Company bought two other publications, American Perfumer in 1960 and McCutcheon’s Detergents and Emulsifiers in 1969. With the addition of these magazines, a parent company, Allured Publishing Corporation, was formed with its headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. When Prudence Allured retired at the age of 86, a decision was made to divide the company in order to allow each brother to more freely specialize in his area of expertise and interest. Allen, on the East Coast, took the Manufacturing Confectioner and McCutcheon’s Detergents and Emulsifiers and Stanley took the American Perfumer. Both companies have flourished through this arrangement. Each has developed its own personality and established itself in its respective industry.
Through his dedication to, and belief in, the people of the confectionery industry, Allen Allured became widely known and respected in the industry. His advice and perspective on key industry issues was widely sought out by industry leaders as well as small one-person businesses. Building upon his parents’ vision, he became the most knowledgeable person in the industry and has been widely recognized by the industry:
National Confectioners Association in 1978 named him Man of the Year, and he was a guest of the Queen of Holland as the U.S. representative for the chocolate and confectionery industry at the Dutch-U.S. Bicentennial in 1982. In 1993, Allen received the prestigious Stroud Jordan Award, which is given to a person for their “devotion to the candy technology, their sustaining interest in the production of quality candy and for contributions to the confectionery industry.”
Mr. Allured was the first recipient of the National Confectioners Association’s Public Service award. In 1978, he was Man of the Year for the Association of Manufacturers of Confectionery and Chocolate. He received the National Candy Wholesalers Association’s Certificate of Recognition as a distinguished Dean of the Confectionery Industry, the RCA of Philadelphia award “for long continued service in the interest of all manufacturing retailers”, the Silver Dish award from the Candy Brokers Association and the Biscuit and Cracker Technical Award.
Coralene Kate Allured joined the company in 1968 after Prudence’s retirement. Prudence was such an outstanding and accomplished woman and publisher. Could her shoes be filled? Should they? The wisdom of Kate and Al was expressed, not as a conscious decision, but an unspoken agreement not to try to fill Prudence’s shoes, but to develop their own teamwork and leadership to further develop the quality and productivity of the company while continuing the leadership role within the industry.
Kate, through her management skills and creativity, has had a major impact on the company. Her concern for the office environment and professionalism of the staff paralleled the company’s involvement in the industry. She also foresaw the great potential in new technology, introducing computer resources to the company early on. Her mission has been to run a more efficient office, and to create an atmosphere that is both professional and at the same time hospitable to the individual needs of its employees. She developed the Glen Rock office from a one-person satellite office to a robust company in its own right.
Allen and Kate together have received the Retail Confectioners International Presidents’ Award “in recognition of unselfish service to the Retail Confectionery industry, for their loyal support of the Retail Confectioners International and for generosity of spirit and for sharing ideas and friendship.”
The accumulated experience and involvement in the industry continues with the third generation as Michael Allured manages the Princeton, Wisconsin, office. While he grew up amidst the family business, he also brings other significant experience to the company. After graduating from Colorado College with a degree in mathematics, Mike worked for 11 years as a wooden boat builder before joining the company in 1986. In boat building, carefully conditioned teamwork was a necessity, both to individuals’ safety and to produce the final product. In addition, he brings leadership experience from having served for 10 years on the Town Board of Crystal Lake Township — including 6 years as the town chairman. Building on the values and dedication of the previous generations, Michael continues the evolution of the company.