When I was a child in the early 1950’s it was a luxury to to have a box of Queen Anne chocolates in the home. Times were still tough after the end of World War 2 and money was short in many households as returning soldiers retrained into civilian jobs, got married and started families. This was the period of the post-war baby boom.
Queen Anne chocolates were manufactured in Wellington and sold throughout New Zealand by Adams Bruce Limited, a company started by Christchurch bakery and confectionery makers Ernest Adams and Hugh Bruce in 1920. In the 1930’s my late mother used to work in an Adams Bruce shop in Auckland. Queen Anne chocolates were considered to be among the best you could get at the time. The image of Queen Anne appeared in stained glass as part of the shop front decoration, and also as a key image on the front of chocolate boxes.
Most shop fronts like this one disappeared from the 1960’s onwards as old shops were renovated and plate glass frontages became the norm. It was a great surprise therefore to find this original frontage on George Street in Dunedin during a recent visit. Although the shop has been converted to another use, the period decoration still retains it’s original charm.
On a historical note, Queen Anne chocolates went out of production in 1976 when Ernest Adams Limited rationalised its business and the Wellington factory was closed down. In 1997 the brand was resurrected by Sarah Adams, granddaughter of Ernest Adams, and this great New Zealand chocolate icon reappeared in the shops.