William F. Schrafft, a native of Germany, founded the candy company in 1861, making fine chocolates and bon bons originally in Boston until occupying this new plant in 1927–1928. The steel-framed reinforced concrete building, of 700,000 square feet, was the largest confectionary factory in the country, and the Art Deco eight-story clock tower is still illuminated by the red neon Schrafft's sign. Within, the concrete mushroom-shaped columns supported the first floor allocated for shipping and receiving; the second for storage and a dining room; and the third, fourth, and fifth floors for the manufacture of candy and Schrafft's boxes. The sixth floor contained general office space. The original machinery remained in use until the building was sold in 1980. A separate power plant, also constructed in 1927, is connected to the building by a walkway over a spur of the Boston & Maine Railroad.
Other nearby buildings associated with the well-established confectionary industry of Boston include the U.S. Baking Company (1890), now the Brockway-Smith Corporation, at 465 Medford Street; the Revere Sugar Refinery (1918), of which only one minor structure remains at 333 Medford Street; and the huge American Sugar Refining Company/Amstar Domino Plant (1960) at 425 Medford Street.