Iconic Ganong Chocolate Pal-O-Mine bar celebrates 100th anniversary with contest based on friendship and the outdoors

Sari Green/Courier This beautiful, hand-crafted canoe is the grand prize of the Shared Between Pals contest, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Ganong Pal-O-Mine bar. If you would like to see the canoe in person, feel free to drop by the Ganong Chocolatier, located at 73 Milltown Boulevard in St. Stephen.

St. Stephen – Not everything in 2020 is bad. In fact, there are some things about this year that are actually pretty sweet. For instance, 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the Ganong Pal-O-Mine bar, and to celebrate, Ganong Bros. is holding a Canada-wide contest where the winner can take home a canoe, handcrafted by local artisan Norman Betts from Mirimichi Canoes, complete with the Pal-O-Mine logo. Brand Manager Tallyia MacMullin said the contest launched last Wednesday, and it will run until Wednesday, October 28.

“In celebration of the 100th anniversary, we’re giving away a hand-made canoe. It’s branded with the Pal-O-Mine logo, and it just holds true to the history of the making of the Pal-O-Mine back in the early 1900s,” said MacMullin.

MacMullin said this contest holds true to the history of the famous chocolate bar, being a contest that is essentially about friendship and the great outdoors. Arthur Ganong was well-known for his love of the outdoors, and spending time going on fishing trips with his friends.

He wanted to be able to take a sweet treat along with him to share with his friends, but he also wanted to make sure he had something that wouldn’t melt in his pockets. At the time, the only chocolates available came in individually-wrapped pieces, or as part of a box.

Ganong tried molding milk chocolate and nuts together and shaped into pieces that were long and narrow. In doing this, he created the “official five cent chocolate bar”, which was also known as the world’s first five-cent chocolate bar.

The concept of the two-piece, individually-wrapped chocolate bar inspired candy maker Ed Bosein to create the Pal-O-Mine bar, made with a rich, brown-sugar fudge center and covered with premium dark chocolate and bits of peanuts. The original five-cent bar only stayed on the market for a short time, but the Pal-O-Mine rose in popularity. Today, 100 years after the Pal-O-Mine’s inception, it is one of the oldest continually produced bar in North America.

Because the Pal-O-Mine bar was originally created as a treat to share with friends on fishing trips, it only makes that the contest marking the 100th anniversary of this bar be about friendship, and of course, the great outdoors. Bryana Ganong, President and CEO of Ganong Bros. said in a news release, “The simple sentiment of prioritizing friendship, our connection to loved ones, and the experiences we have together enjoying the outdoors is one that has stood the test of time”. The company was inspired by the original story that combined friendship and outdoor life, and thus a contest was created to encourage Canadians to share their favorite outdoor activities that they enjoy with friends.

“The contest is run 100 per cent on social media, so you have to follow Ganong on Facebook and Instagram,” said MacMullin. “We’re going to have three posts, and we’re going to ask people to share what outdoor activities they enjoy the most with friends here in Canada for the chance to win. They’ll get automatically entered into the draw for our fun secondary prizes of a Pal-O-Mine Frisbee, or 100 Pal-O-Mine bars for them and a friend to enjoy, and then the grand prize in October of the canoe.”

MacMullin said there is information about the contest on the company website, where people can check out the rules and regulations. This contest is open to all Canadian residents. The grand prize canoe is built in the traditional chestnut methodology, which, according to the news release, involves “bending cedar ribs over a form, planking and tacking the canoe with cedar, stretching canvas over the hull, and filling the weave to cure.” The grand prize also includes two paddles and two life jackets.

If you are interested in seeing the one-of-a-kind Pal-O-Mine canoe, it is now on display at the Ganong Chocolatier, located at 73 Milltown Boulevard in St. Stephen. To enter the contest for your chance to win this beautiful, hand-crafted canoe, follow Ganong on Facebook and Instagram, and tag a friend sharing the story of an activity that you like to take part in together, using the hashtag #SharedBetweenPals. Full contest details can be found on the Ganong website at www.ganong.com/charedbetweenpals