Loft Candy Company was founded by the London-born William Loft (ca. 1828–1919) after he immigrated to New York in the 1850s. At first, he and his wife crafted handmade chocolates in their kitchen before opening a chocolate shop on Canal Street in 1860. Their son, George W. Loft (1865–1943), took over the business and expanded it, opening other retail stores beginning in the 1890s and building factories to supply them. Loft Candy Company became America’s first retail candy-store chain, and by 1920 it was the largest retail candy company in America. During the 1920s Loft began promoting the brand by sponsoring radio programs. The Loft family lost control of the company in 1929, when the stock market crashed, and it was renamed Loft, Inc.