Louis Galpern

June 16, 2023

Louis Galpern

1882 – 1977

The name Louis Galpern looms large in the history of candy manufacturing in Winnipeg. Born in Russia, Galpern arrived in Winnipeg in 1904 and shortly thereafter started the Canadian Candy Company on Dufferin Street. The company became known for its Fine Candy Brand and Galpern became manufacturers’ agent for Milady chocolates.  By the 1920s the Canadian Candy Company became Galpern’s Candy Company and moved to larger premises on Jarvis Avenue a testament to Galpern’s business savvy and ability to satisfy public demand. In 1943 the Galpern Candy Company moved to 165 McDermot formerly the Porter Building (Porter was a crockery and china wholesaler) which thereafter became known as the Galpern Building.

According to Janis Thiessen (History Podcast. Episode 13: Prairie Confectioneries) by the 1950s the candy business was booming in Winnipeg. Candy manufacturers such as Galpern’s were selling to big department stores and small stores in Winnipeg and throughout Manitoba. On a national scale Canada imported 301,000 pounds of confectionery at a total value of $67,000 in 1932. Corresponding numbers in 1957 were 9,790,000 pounds at a total value of approximately $4,100.000 (Dominion Bureau of Statistics, 1957). The same 1957 report noted that Galpern’s was one of 13 candy companies operating in Manitoba. 

Galpern’s sons Myer, Sam and Auby were actively involved in the business. Myer was to take the reins as company president after his father retired. Auby Galpern was to make his mark in the business world as proprietor of the Town ‘n’ Country, one of Winnipeg’s best known and fashionable supper clubs.  

Louis Galpern passed away in 1957. Funeral services were held at the Shaarey Zedek officiated By Rabbis Kalman Appel and Louis Berkal. The Galpern Candy Company ceased operations in 1973. 

Suggested reading

Dominion Bureau of Statistics. The Confectionery Industry 1957. www.publications.gc.ca.

Historic Buildings Committee. 165 McDermot: Galpern Building, January 8, 1985.

Historic Podcast. Episode 13: Prairie Confectioneries (transcript). https://www.manitobafoodhistory.ca/episode-13-transcript

Louis Galpern obituary. The Jewish Post, June 2, 1977, p. 22.

Manitoba Historical Society. Historic Sites of Manitoba: Porter Building/Galpern Building. www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/sites/porterbuilding.shtml

National Trust of Canada. Galpern (Porter) Building. https://nationaltrustcanada.ca/nt-awards/galpern-porter-building

The Official Blog of Heritage Winnipeg. From Housewares to Home: The Porter Building, January 16, 2019.

Winnipeg Architecture Foundation. Porter Building/Galpern Candy. https://winnipegarchitecturefoundation.ca/165-mcdermot-avenue-ghost-signs/