Thursday, January 26, 2006

Dare Foods Limited

Dare factory

The Doerr [Dare] factor in Berlin, Ontario at the turn of the century.

Following reciprocal meetings and visits between the Dare family and the Library in late 2003 and early 2004, Dare Foods Limited donated its collection of business papers, photos, and other memorabilia documenting its history to the Library's Special Collections Department.

The Dare Foods Limited collection provides researchers with local social, public, industrial, marketing, sales, and advertising history of a Canadian company well-known for its production of biscuits, crackers, and candies. The documents in this collection include financial statements, account books, architectural drawings, minutes, letters, legal records, advertisements (print, radio, and television), artifacts, as well as formulas and packaging samples.

In addition to company's historical papers, the Dare family provided generous financial assistance to support the processing and preservation of these documents. Part of the funds assisted the Library in hiring a project archivist to focus on preserving, arranging, and describing of the company's records. The funds were also used to purchase the necessary acid-free supplies, such as storage boxes, folders, and special enclosures for photographs and negatives. By ensuring the proper preservation of this collection, the Library is providing the opportunity for the academic and local community to connect with our region's past in terms of its industrial, physical, and social development.

Dare Foods Limited has undergone a series of transformations and name changes since its early beginnings as a grocery store on the corner of Breithaupt and Gzowski (now Weber) Streets in Berlin (now Kitchener), Ontario in 1889. Founded by Charles H. Doerr, the small grocery store was soon transformed into a biscuit and candy manufacturing operation called C. H. Doerr Company, Limited in 1892. When Charles H. Doerr died in 1941, his grandson, Carl M. Doerr took over as President of the company. After experiencing several significant challenges, including a fire that destroyed the original manufacturing plant in Kitchener, Mr. Dare rebuilt the business on the outskirts of Kitchener in 1943. He also changed the company's name (and later the family's name) from "Doerr" to "Dare".

The Dare Foods Limited collection will be open for research in Fall 2005.

Ken and Marilyn Murray with Bryan Dare
Photo of Ken and Marilyn Murray with Bryan Dare at the KW Community Foundation Papers opening.

Ken Murray
Photo of Ken Murray looking at a display case containing samples of the Dare Foods Limited collection.

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