The story of Gertrude Hawk Chocolates began with a need. In 1936, Gertrude Hawk needed money. Her family was struggling financially during the Great Depression. Her husband’s job as a car salesman was not enough. Facing this need, Gertrude turned to a skill she possessed: chocolate making and dipping. She had learned the craft of chocolate at a local shop when she was a teenager. Gertrude left school after her father died when she was twelve and was helped to support her family then as a chocolate dipper. At two moments in her life—as a teenage girl and as a middle-aged woman—Gertrude answered the needs of her family by going to work. This moment in 1936 when Gertrude Hawk used the best skills she had and started a business in her kitchen would shape her life, her community, and her family’s for generations.
One of Gertrude’s first customers was a local church that also needed funds. Partnering with churches, schools, and other non-profit organizations to fundraise became one of the hallmarks of Gertrude’s kitchen-based business (of chocolate covered goodness).
Pictured right: The kitchen of Gertrude Hawk Chocolates on Mark Avenue in Scranton, Pennsylvania.