Frank in front of the original store

Humble Beginnings

When Frank Crail left California in 1980, he knew he wanted a change from the hustle and bustle of the West Coast. After traveling through portions of the western United States, he and his family landed in Durango, Colorado -a sleepy ski town of just over 11,000 people at the time. Frank brought a spark of entrepreneurship to the area; he immediately began surveying the local residents regarding what they felt was missing from their small town. Their two answers? A car wash… and a chocolate shop. In Frank’s mind, a chocolate shop sounded far more enticing than a car wash and so he set out. Working with a team of scientists from Fort Lewis College and his friend Everett Seeley, a master candy maker whom Frank coaxed into coming to Durango to teach him about chocolate, he set about learning to make the creamiest fudge and the best caramel apples, with hopes of success in the small mountain town.
The first Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory store opened on Main Street in Durango on Memorial Day weekend, 1981. Frank opened up the store selling just fudge for his first weekend in business, and all was going well until he realized he forgot to get cash for the register! Instead of disappointing customers, Frank gave away fudge that first day until he was able to make change and from that first weekend, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory was imprinted on the town. Over the years, Frank’s sweet idea grew from one store, to more than 300 locations through the world! A year after opening in Durango, the first Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory franchise-owned store opened in Old Town, Colorado Springs. As more franchisees joined the business, Frank and Everett quickly outgrew the garage space and ping pong tables they had been using to make candy and in 1983 broke ground on a 53,000 square foot factory in Durango. Two years later, to ensure that the indulgent, mountain-sized chocolates arrived in top-condition to stores, RMCF got into the trucking business and now operates a fleet of refrigerated trucks that visit every state, every two weeks! In that very same year, 1985, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory went public and continues to trade on the NASDAQ today. In the decades that followed, stores opened in Canada, the Middle East, Panama and the Philippines and the company explored a variety of fun partnerships that showcased its gourmet chocolate, fudge and apples. Many things have changed, but we’re more proud than ever to be America’s Premier Chocolatier®.

Join Us in Store for 40 Years of Celebrating Sweetness and Sharing Joy!

This year, in honor of our 40th Anniversary, also known as the Ruby anniversary, we’re commemorating Frank’s dream: signature products and service that set us apart. Throughout 2021, join us in celebration at your local Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory with discounts on key products, social media giveaways, and the launch of a variety of NEW Ruby chocolate products, pink in color free of any artificial colors or flavors, and here for a limited time! After 40 years, we have more enthusiasm than ever for great chocolate and superb customer service- we can’t wait to see you soon! Sincerely, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Inc.