Fanny Farmer was started in Rochester, New York by Frank O'Connor in 1919 and grew to over 400 stores before being bought and consolidated. The company was named in honor of culinary expert Fannie Farmer, who had died four years earlier; she had nothing to do with the candy stores, and her recipes were not being used. "The spelling of the first name was altered to avoid confusion." However, as a marketing device, it suggested reflected glory: high standards of quality.
Fanny Farmer stores shared a look that was similar to that of Fanny May.
In 1992 the Archibald Candy Company acquired the brand and its 200 retail stores in the northeastern United States) as a sister brand to its own Fannie May candies (sold primarily in the Midwest and mid-Atlantic United States). Alpine Confections purchased both brands in 2004 after Archibald filed for bankruptcy, and merged Fanny Farmer into Fannie May. An errant path of merger and acquisitions, whereby the company became the largest chain of candy retailers in the country but without adequate financing and a viable corporate strategy, was blamed for the bankruptcy.
In its current iteration at 1-800-Flowers, the successor corporation sells Fanny May and Fanny Farmer products.