The Cherry Cheer company began its career in the basement of the Wilson Carothers home on Walnut avenue, when the two elder sons of the house began the manufacture of the now well known syrup, in 1907. Cherry Cheer was and is a syrup for soda fountain use, employed not only in soda water, but as "dopes" for ice-cream and sundaes; also for use in punches.
The success was immediate, and the name "Cherry Cheer" was adopted as a trade mark, to cover not only other soda fountain syrups, but the manufacture of various lines of confectionery. After one year, the infant business was obliged to move to larger quarters, and rented the vacant original building of the Sidney Elevator company, near the Given tannery. This year saw the incorporation of the business into a stock concern in which the father, Wilson Carothers, and the remaining brothers, with a few preferred stockholders, became interested and the business was again enlarged.
A new building was erected in the fall of 1908, and the manufacture of the syrups was carried on there until September, 1916, when the vacant Underwood Whip company buildings were purchased, and new plants installed for the wholesale manufacture of fine chocolates.
The new situation, which furnishes splendid facilities, is at the corner of Highland avenue and North street. The buildings are so well windowed from all exposures that it is aptly styled "the daylight plant." There is ample space for enlargement of the building when that becomes necessary, and the immense tank for supplying the fire sprinkler system is erected upon part of the grounds, yet another part of which is fenced out for the use of the neighborhood children as a playground.
A trip through the factory today shows the visitor every step of the processes from the store or stock rooms where the sugar, emollients, chocolate, flavors and colorings are stored, and the machinery and conduits by which they are fed into the mixers, boilers, beaters, moulders and coolers, carried to the enrobers and the refrigerating department, thence to the tables and racks where the fancy work is done on the highest priced dainties, some of which are double-dipped. A specialty of the plant is chocolate pieces-^-the 6ix-cent and penny dainties (Teddy Bears) so popular with children the same fine grade of chocolate being used in these as in the varieties designed for society use. When the question of cost intervenes, size, not quality, is reduced. American soldiers at home and in Europe, and even in Siberia, became well acquainted with Cherry Cheer candies.
A very interesting department is the box room, where all the paper packing boxes are made, machinery of the most approved efficiency being used in the processes, which are completed by the manipulation of remarkably few pairs of very clever hands.
The Cherry Cheer syrups are manufactured quite apart from the confectionery, and the machinery is a unique combination of mixer, cooker, and cooler, into which the carefully chosen materials are introduced from a private room above, and in case of necessity can be converted by magically rapid action into Cherry Cheer syrup at the rate of five -hundred gallons, or more, every thirty minutes. A 5,000 gallon tank is kept filled in reserve. All the water used in the plant is drawn from a deep driven well, and distilled before using, insuring absolute purity.
As at present organized the company is Wilson Carothers, president; W. R. and J. C. Carothers, managers; Paul A. Carothers, with the plant, and Frank K. Carothers, a director, the preferred stockholders, who are guaranteed 7 per cent interest on stock, annually, being silent.
Memoirs of the Miami Valley, Volume 1