Baker’s Chocolate[bey-kers chaw-kuh-lit, chok–uh-, chawk-lit, chok-] noun
A brand presently owned by Kraft Foods and stocked in most major U.S. supermarkets, encompassing unsweetened (100% cacao), bittersweet (67% cacao), semi-sweet (54% cacao), German’s sweet (48% cacao) and white (no cacao solids; level of cocoa butter not available) chocolates. They also sell bags of chocolate chunks and dipping chocolate in white, milk and dark flavors that are packaged to go straight into the microwave. Outside of the chocolate realm, they also package sweetened coconut flakes.
Baker’s Chocolate began as a small company in 1780 as the market for chocolate was growing within the colonies here in the U.S. Baker was a family name. The company was kept in the family until 1852, then continued with the same name thereafter. The young lady named “La Belle Chocolatiere” that still appears on packages is a representation of the original painting that hangs in the Dresden Gallery in Germany. La Belle Chocolatiere has graced the Baker’s Chocolate package since 1877, making her the oldest product trademark in America. Her story dates back to 1745 when Prince Dietrichstein, an Austrian nobleman, went to a chocolate shop to try the new drink everyone was talking about – hot chocolate. His waitress was Anna Baltauf and the prince was so taken by the young lady that he soon asked her to marry him, making her a princess. Prince Dietrichstein commissioned a portrait of his wife by the famous Swiss painter Jean Etienne Liotard as a wedding gift. The artist suggested that she pose in her chocolate server’s costume, commemorating what brought them together. Some time prior to 1883, when the image was registered as a U.S. trademark, Henry L. Pierce, then president of Walter Baker & Company, saw the painting and decided it would be the perfect image for his packaged chocolate.