In July of 2018 the New England Confectionary Co. (Necco) went out of business. This posed a threat to the infamous Conversation Hearts candies this Valentines Day season, causing many to be upset about the end of a nostalgic tradition.
Articles circled the internet titled, “Heartbreak! Necco’s Candy Hearts Will Not be in Stores This Valentines Day (CBS New York, Jan 29) and “Will Valentines Day be the same without Conversation Hearts” (NOLA.com, Feb. 4). However, there is good news for those who enjoy this Valentines Day tradition, Branch’s Candy company picked up the Conversation Hearts. This means that the candies will hit shelves this Valentines Day season but they may experience some changes to the original. There may be changes in texture, production and even in the appearance of the hearts such as the messages that are written on them. So, while the candy will technically be available this Valentines Day, the original will not.
The initial uproar about the candies poses a question about the importance of the Conversation Hearts on Valentines Day. Do people even care about the candies?
Some people in the LWA community had no strong feelings about the candies. Christian Aristizabal, CO 2020, said, “It doesn’t affect me, ”but it was great while it lasted.” Taina Perez, CO 2020, hoped to find the silver lining, “I’ve never really had the experience, so personally, it doesn’t affect me.” She added, "but I think it’s a kind gesture to give it to someone and if they don’t do it this year any kind gesture can make up for it.”
There were responses from teachers as well. “They taste like chalk,” said Robert Schaefer, Upper School Learning Specialist. Other teachers felt differently, like Marc Puma, French and ESOL teacher, “I would say it’s regrettable that such a long-standing tradition cannot be continued." A very passionate answer was given by Stacy Greengold, Chemistry teacher and Curriculum Coordinator of the Science department, when asked how she felt about the situation. “I’m very old, this has been a staple in my life for many many years, I had no idea they (Necco) went under, “ she said, “They were happiness! That was the happiest part of Valentine’s Day! [...] When you were a kid roses and chocolates don’t mean anything, but those! Not to mention the pithy little statements! Pure genius!”