In the western United States the development of the candy industry was spurred because of the expense of shipping from the East. The beginning of the candy making in Utah is not well documented, as it was generally done in private homes. The cost of sugar in the west was a discouragement to the early development of the industry. Until the coming of the railroad in 1869 sugar was hauled into the Salt Lake valley by ox teams making it extremely expensive and sometimes selling for as high as $130 a bag. Thus, the pioneers turned to their own resources derived sorghum molasses from sugar cane, and attempting to extract sugar from sugar beets—later, a successful venture.
In the first decades of the twentieth century the Startup Candy Company was known throughout the western states and their distribution was expanding to several foreign countries. At their peak in the 1920s, the company employed 175 workers including 15 salesmen. The present building complex was begun in 1900 as the business outgrew the original factory. Later expansion necessitated addition which include offices and a printing and box plant. The factory had special features for the comfort, entertainment and health of its employees, and the owner, George A. Startup, interested in the welfare of his workers, was active in lobbying for the minimum wage bill for females. This was also the first factory in Utah to give employees a profit sharing bonus, which ranged from 5 to 15% based on merit.
Photo of Startup Candy Company, which was listed in the National Register of Historic Places - NPS in 1984.