Chattanooga Bakery was founded in 1902 as part of Mountain City Milling Company. Early on, the bakery offered as many as 150 products, including the forerunners of today’s most popular snacks: fig bars, ginger snaps, graham crackers, vanilla wafers. MoonPie brand came upon the baking scene in 1917; the trademark was registered on January 1st, 1919. As it happened, Mr. Earl Mitchell, Sr., a bakery salesman, visited a store catering to coal miners. The miners wanted something solid and filling, as they often had no break for lunch. “How big?” was Mitchell’s question. He got his answer from a miner, and went back to the bakery. He noticed workers dipping graham cookies into marshmallow and putting them on the window sill to harden. The idea of adding another cookie along with a generous chocolate coating was tried, and samples of this original MoonPie were distributed. The response was so enormous that MoonPie became a regular feature for the bakery. During the 30s, MoonPie became noted in Southern folklore as part of the “working man’s lunch.” Laborers would enjoy the biggest snack around, a MoonPie, and team it with a 10-oz. RC Cola, each for a nickel. The duo inspired the country music hit “Give me an RC and a MoonPie” in the 50s. MoonPies have been sent to U.S. troops since the 40s, and NASCAR adopted MoonPie as its official snack cake. Today, nearly a million MoonPies are produced every day. The original formula has not changed but several new flavors are on the scene. If you are on the Discover Tennessee Trails & Byways Pie in the Sky trail all about MoonPies to Mountain Highs Trail, you will end up right back here in Chattanooga, home of the MoonPie® for 84 years. Pick up a few to take home, pick out a souvenir, and don’t forget the R.C. Cola! Open 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
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