In 1946, the mayor of Homer, Hazel Heath, and her husband Kenneth began making jams and jellies from native Alaskan berries in home-style cooking facilities. They continued producing and selling their jams until 1973 when the company was purchased by Harry and Betty Brundage. It again changed hands when Peter Eden purchased the company in 1975 — and he continues to run it today.
"This business has only had three owners," Peter told the Homer News in 1985, "and each one put their heart and soul into it." Now, over 30 years later, it's still been just those three owners and Peter continues to have the same commitment to Alaska, great flavors, and plain dealing.
In 1989 Peter introduced chocolate-covered candies enhanced by the unique flavors of Alaskan wild berries. These new candies, filled with a taste born in the wilderness of America's last frontier, were an instant hit with locals, tourists, and friends of Alaskans all over the world.
In 1994 Peter opened the doors of his new store and factory off Old Seward Highway near the international airport. When walking through the front door, the first thing visitors see is an incredible 20 foot chocolate fall containing thousands of pounds of melted chocolate. The huge store contains windows into the candy kitchens so you can watch the delicious products being made by hand.
Alaska Wild Berry Products quickly became the largest candy manufacturer in the state of Alaska, and the only one shipping Alaskan candies Outside, as Alaskans call any location not in Alaska. The demand has become so great that we have decided to share our unique product with the rest of the world.
“When Peter Eden first drove up the Alaska Highway with a buddy in the mid-1970s he was an urbane Californian, a lifetime resident of Santa Monica and Hollywood.
“His father had been an interior decorator for Howard Hughes. Eden, then in his mid-thirties, was a self-described beach bum who played sandlot volleyball and owned a janitorial service for high-rise buildings and suburban estates.
“But a strange thing happened on his Alaska trip: At the end of the North American road system in Homer, he found a mom-and-pop-jelly company for sale.
“Eden surprised himself by showing interest in buying the establishment...
“‘It was then that I decided to move to Alaska,’ Eden says. ‘That got a big roar from my friends. Then I told them I was going to buy a berry business. That got a bigger roar.’”
— Anchorage Times, 8/27/1990