The Story of Eda’s Premium Hard Candies
The firm was founded in 1958 by Paul Lehman and his wife Eda but the real story begins prior to World War II.
At the age of 17 Paul Lehman worked in a candy factory in Poland and courted Eda in the late 1930’s. As the World War II broke out coupled with the fact that they were both Jewish, Paul was taken to the concentration camp at Buchwald and Eda to Bergen-Belsen. Their miraculous survival of the war was matched with their chance reuniting as the liberation took place. Eda was peeling potatoes on a street corner with her sister when her sister said “Oh there is Paul”. Eda replied that what she said wasn’t funny and she shouldn’t joke about such a thing”. Eda’s sister said “look up its Paul”. Paul said “let’s go, you’re done peeling potatoes”.
Eda’s Premium Hard Candies story is testament to survival, sacrifice and pursuit of a vision.
They moved to Germany, married and had the first of two daughters Frida. They immigrated to United States in the early fifties and gave birth to a second daughter Sandra. Upon arrival in the United States Paul secured a position in a candy company in Brooklyn, New York. After but one day he came home to Eda and said “I quit”. Eda asked why. He said “I just wanted to see if they made candy here the same way they do in Europe.
Paul started the company in the Brooklyn Terminal Market in 1958 and after two failed attempts at a unique brand name he decided to name the candy after his wife Eda. Like many firms he guided the company through many ups and downs until 1980. In 1980 Paul retired suffering from Parkinson’s disease and moved to Arizona with Eda. Eda’s Premium Hard Candies was left to their youngest daughter Sandy and her husband Rod to operate. Eda’s Premium Hard Candies grew and prospered through the eighties and then tragedy struck. While rowing in Sheepshead bay, Rod was killed in horrific boating accident. Along with six children to take care of Sandy ran the company until 2004 when Eda’s Premium Hard Candies was purchased by its current owner Brian Berry.
Eda still resides in Phoenix, Arizona and Sandy Kreitner in Brooklyn, New York. The company was relocated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the fall of 2005. Eda’s Premium Hard Candies continues to be sold and marketed throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.