Burkinshaw is the president of Ye Olde Pepper Companie,
a company that traces its roots back 200 years. The company
is now in its fourth generation of the Burkinshaw family,
but the origins go to back to Salem, Massachusetts where
in 1806 an English woman by the name of Spencer was shipwrecked
and in destitute condition. Her neighbors learned that she
knew how to make candy and got together to buy her a barrel
of sugar. Little did they know that this single act of kindness
would produce the "Salem Gibralter", said to be
the first candy made and sold commercially in America and
transported around the world by sea captains and their crew.
Mrs. Spencer initially sold her candies
from wood firkins on the steps of the First Church. As the
candies became more popular she purchased a horse and wagon
(now displayed in Salem’s Peabody Essex Museum) to
peddle her confections wearing the long attire of the day
with sunbonnet to shield her eyes. The image of her sitting
proud and straight in the open wagon guiding the horse to
neighboring towns became the company’s logo.
When Mrs. Spencer died her son carried on the business until
about 1830, when he sold the company to John William Pepper
and returned to England. Under Pepper, the company prospered
for many years. During the later 1800's the first Burkinshaw
went to work at the Pepper Company as a candy maker and
eventually met his future wife there.
At the turn of the century, the Burkinshaw family purchased
the Pepper Company and all their original recipes including
those originated by Mrs. Spencer herself. The same high
quality standards set by Mrs. Spencer and John Pepper are
maintained by the Burkinshaws for their confections today.
Bay Trading Company is pleased to offer the candies
of Ye Olde Pepper Companie.