Two local chocolate makers battle over use of 'fairy food'

Quality Candy claims trademark; another shop claims longtime use of term

By Rick Romell of the Journal Sentinel

Until she died last April at 91, Richard Koenings' Aunt Bunnie loved fairy food, and when the dutiful nephew visited his elderly relative, he always brought some.

It was crunchy, honeycombed and chocolate-covered, and, of course, it was Quality Candy fairy food.

"Absolutely," Koenings said with mock theatricality as he stood in the St. Francis headquarters of Quality Candy's parent company, where he is president and an owner.

"Is there any other?"

Well, yes. For now, anyway.

In a battle that could pit the sworn, candy-buying recollections of a 77-year-old customer against the contents of a newspaper article from 1966, two venerable area chocolate makers are digging in over the rights to use the term "fairy food."

It's small vs. tiny, old vs. even older.

On one side stands Buddy Squirrel LLC, the 75-employee outfit that owns Quality Candy and such delicacies as Cheddar Cheezzzy Cheese Corn, Tads Pecan Caramel Clusters and chocolate covered marshmallow Santas. The company dates to 1916.

On the other side: Freese's Candy Shoppe, founded in 1928 on Greenfield Ave. in West Allis and still planted there, run by owners Wendy and Michael Matel with help from four employees.

Full story.