So, does anyone in the Kansas City area remember the Green Mills Candy Factory?  Or, as I like to refer to it, the Green Mills Candy Factory of Repugnance and Disappointment?  That second title, the true one, you probably wouldn’t think that way about a place that makes chocolate.  You’d be wrong, and let me tell you why.

For those of you not “in the know” (which usually includes me–except in my blog, where I happen to know everything, and can edit posts later on in case I don’t), the Green Mills Candy Factory of Repugnance and Disappointment was a local maker of chocolates and other teeth-rotting goodies, holing up somewhere near the Plaza.  I think.  I mean, yes, I know it was a candy factory (of repugnance and disappointment), and I know it was in Kansas City, but I can’t swear that it was in or near the Plaza.  I just remember it that way, so there.

In an attempt to foster generations of addicts, Green Mills used to offer tours to groups of kids.  “Come hither yon Boy Scouts, elementary soldiers, and migrant labor off-spring!  Come see our treats and delight in our secret home base for the nefarious Captain Cavity!” It’s possible, however, they didn’t say it that way, and probably just stuck up a sign saying, “Tours open to the public.”  But my recollection is better.

One Spring day my elementary school in Prairie Village decided to load us impressionable yoots on to a giant yellow metal Twinkie (sure, call it a bus, but it’s lunch and I’m hungry) and field trip us all the way over to the Green Mills Candy… you know.  We got to see how they mixed the chocolates and poured the chocolates and cut the chocolates and separate the chocolates and lovingly tongue the chocolates and package the chocolates and otherwise prepare them for shipment.  So, we spend an hour–maybe two–wandering around the factory, listening to some middle-aged PR guy blather on about the factory’s history, its output, the people who work there, and yada.  All we wanted, however, was for the tour to end so that we could score ourselves the inevitable reward for acting decent and not setting fire to the place.  It’s a candy factory, right, so we’re bound to get candy as a treat (luckily, the next month’s field trip to the sperm bank was indefinitely postponed).

The tour, thankfully, comes to an inglorious and boring end.  Still, we were excited.  Candy!  Finally!  Would it be the fudge, or the chocolate malt balls, or the long-lasting chocolate suckers, or the three-course-meal chewing gum (some of us wanted to turn into giant blueberries)?

None of the above.

Seriously.  Know what we ended up with?  Go ahead.  Guess.

No, not that.  Not that, either. (I told you the trip to the sperm bank was postponed.)

Peanut brittle.  Yeah, you read that right: pea-the fucking-nut brittle.  That foul, stick-to-your-teeth plasticine-like concoction of dog poop and sugar.  It was a candy factory, not some proto-Abu Ghraib where good children who didn’t maim anyone don’t get their ration of cocoa bean goodness, but you couldn’t tell by the events of that day.  What’s worse is that they handed each of us a bag of treasure, tightly sealed and not to be opened until we left the factory.

We didn’t find out about their depravity until we were on the bus on the way home! See?  Seeeee the repugance and the disappointment?  There was no chocolate, no gum drops, no anything resembling sweetness and light.  Just pain and misery; so-called “candy” not even fit for violent dictators or politicians.

My inner-child is forever wounded by that unhappy memory, unable to heal because the factory is no longer in business; I can no longer invade the place, ninja-style in the middle of the night, and gobble up whatever chocolate to be found so my soul could mend from the terrible, destructive damage.  My salvation, wrest from my hands long before I could buy a ninja suit over the Internet.  Oh, how I weep for such travesty.

Alas, alas.

Posted Wednesday, August 27th, 2008 at 11:56 am
Filed Under Category: Life
Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.


Responses to “A Brittle Lump of Green Mills”

Nancy Schulz

Green Mills was on Southwest Blvd. near 31st
Ball teams sold tons of the Green Mills candy for
money making projects.


Ah, thank you for that! And, indeed, as you said, I recall schlepping door-to-door to fund the D. Thomas & Associates baseball team for the 3 & 2 League.


Alas, I have great memories of Green Mill peanut brittle, if it were not for Green Mill I would not have been able to go to Boy Scout camp Oseola folr six years in a row. I would get anywhere from 50 to 100 boxes of Greem Mill peanut brittle on Sat mornings at my troop 81 location at Perry & Topping KCMO and the start selling door to door
for the rest of the day or untill sold out, for each box I earned .10 cents towards my camp fund. The expereience taught me a lot about a good attatude, people and good experiencs come with hard work and commitment, and one very important lesson was not to set my EXPECTIONAL LEVEL to high so as not to order more candy than I could sell. Something I feel our disgruntaled bloger failed to learn as regards to high of a expection of her candy factory tour (just because you dont like peanut brittle) I bet a lot of kids in your class did. You sound like you were a spoiled and ungrateful kid (you probly still are as a grown adult today. I only found this site because I was looking on the net to see if Green Mill sill existed so that if they did I could order some of their wondreful PEANUT BRITTLE 🙂


Thrilled to see you here, Lou. Unfortunately, while you did seem to spend time with Kansas City’s only candy factory (of renown), I believe you missed out on the class they held on how to make chocolate-covered tongue-in-cheek.

Alas, indeed. But I do wish you all the peanut brittle you deserve.




It’s okay, Tim. We all have terrible taste as children. The important lesson here is that, while I miss Green Mills, it can no longer make the peanut brittle.

It can no longer wound us.

Greg Workman

Sure I remember GreenMill candies. Matter of fact when I was 12 yrs old . I sold their candy door to door for money peanut brittle .50 a box & a box of chocolates was $1.00 each 12 boxes of brittle was $6.00 chocolates was 12.00 per case . I made $2.40 per case of brittle & $4.40 for the Chocolates. The original factory was on 4200 block of Troost Ave. right across the street from Lainer/ Leuenberger Pontiac. But that was in 1960. Had a Windmill neon sign over the front door. For you to write that is was crappy candy; well what do you expect from some clod from Johnson County …


No, no, Greg, you’re not going to get any points if you don’t pay attention. I didn’t say the candy was bad; I said the peanut brittle was bad.

And peanut brittle is not candy. It’s torture, it’s inedible, it’s the color of aged puke, but it is not considered candy by any member nation signed on to the Geneva Convention.

By the way, my name is Claude. How did you know?


Sunny Boy,
You are depraved. That was an ethical Company.
Their popcorn tins were made at last minute fresh
while the evil competitors made theirs for Wal-Mart and stored them for months. Also,your taste buds
died early as a child as you got high on lighter fluid so had absolutely no way of knowing how good
the peanut brittle was. That Company was the backbone of American small business. They even had
a young Kansas looking sales manager who was a better role model for Kansas than you will ever be.
I hope you didn’t get to tour Merritt Foods where the bomb pop jr. was invented. Kansas is awesome, but I now think you sound like a Transplant from


Not Chicago, Jim; I don’t know how to swim, so that immediately disqualifies me from eating their pizza without fear of drowning. If I’m going to drink my meal, I’d prefer something more single-maltish.

Jim, Jim, Jim… I believe I’ve unraveled your dark cloak of mysterious mystery and suspect that you were that “young Kansas looking sales manager”. I’m not sure what ‘Kansas-looking’ means, exactly, but I’ve no doubt you were a handsome fellow who outshone even Pa Kettle in his Sunday best.

That said, I blame you for ripping out the backbone of American small business, because, high on peanut brittle, you failed (J’ACCUSE!) to sell enough to keep the company in business. Lost jobs, rivers of chocolate dried up, widows and children, dogs and cats living together, Newt Gingrich… all of it could have been avoided had you been better at your profession.

But I’m a gregarious fellow, Jim, and I forgive you because you’re also a hero in your own way. You managed to stop the flow of peanut brittle, and you deserve a medal. I’d give you that medal, Jim, but this is the Internet and I can’t pass anything through the screen without breaking it.

And work tells me I’m not allowed to have any more replacement screens. Sorry, Jim. But you’re still my hero.