from 1923 ad

The Martin M. Hoffman Co. (also known as Hoffman's Peanut Candy Co.) was a maker of peanut candy, remembered for the "Peanut Andy" figure used in advertising. The company was in business from 1896 to 1946.

[ NB: The oldest reference to Hoffman's candy found so far is from 1901; the oldest reference to "Peanut Andy" is from 1921. ]

The first store was in the Albany Hotel in 1896 at 1260 Broadway. A Daily Knave column says the "Peanut Andy" figure came into being about 8 years later, and that in 1912 Hoffman opened a plant on 17th St. where the Roxie Theater was later built. 5

Albany Hotel / Albany Block
1911 Sanborn Map excerpt
 Hoffman's Candies in the Albany Block
c.1911 13
  17th Street, 1912 Sanborn excerpt

From 1914, the store was located in the Webster Building located at 1318-1324 Webster Street.

According to the 1921 Annual Report of the Commissioner of Patents, Martin M. Hoffman (aka "Peanut Andy") of Oakland, California, had a patent for Peanut Candy. 2

On National Candy Day, October 8, 1921, "Peanut Andy" Martin M. Hoffman hosted a Peanut Candy Party on the lawn at 14th and Franklin. "All Oakland is invited to attend this reception in honor of National Candy Day, and every guest will be presented with an individual package of Hoffman's Famous Peanut Candy." An orchestra of Hawaiian musicians entertained the crowds of guests, and "pretty girls" were on hand to assist the host. 4 A similar party was given in 1923. 7

From the early 1920s to 1937, a large electric sign on the Webster Building alternately flashed "Hoffman's Famous Peanut Candy" and "I Am Peanut Andy" along with the figure of Peanut Andy. 5

1901 ad 111923 ad 7Hoffman's Peanut Candy Co., Webster Street 1

In 1940, they moved to 321 - 13th Street. 8 In 1946, they moved to 4340 Broadway, across from Oakland Tech. 10

Hoffman retired in 1946 and offered the famous "Peanut Andy" trademark for sale a few years later. 5,6 He died in 1962 and his remains are in the main mausoleum at Mountain View Cemetery.

The Webster Building formerly occupied by Hoffman's Peanut Candy Co. later became the new headquarters for the Oakland Chamber of Commerce. 12

Links and References

  1. Hoffman's Peanut Candy Co. Building Oakland Museum of California
  2. Annual Report of the Commissioner of Patents for the Year 1921 by the United States Patent Office
  3. Oakland Invited to Peanut Candy Party Oakland Tribune, October 7, 1921
  4. Ad for Hoffman's Famous Peanut Candy Berkeley Daily Gazette, August 10, 1921
  5. Daily Knave Oakland Tribune May 4, 1949
  6. for sale ad Oakland Tribune April 30, 1949
  7. Peanut Andy's Party a Humdinger! Oakland Tribune October 10, 1923
  8. new store ad Oakland Tribune December 9, 1940
  9. ad Oakland Tribune October 12, 1905
  10. ad Oakland Tribune December 18, 1946
  11. ad Oakland Tribune December 11, 1906
  12. Oakland C of C Will Move to New Quarters Oakland Tribune October 14, 1954
  13. WorthPoint reproduction of earlier eBay auction (Note Central Pullman sign created on negative, also note apparently incorrect c. 1915 date)