Marven’s Biscuits, a sweet Moncton treat for 73 years

Posted on June 07, 2024 | By Alexander Chafe | 0 Comments


An old photo of Marven’s Biscuits’ factory in Moncton, N.B. (photo credit: Resurgo Place Archives)

Making classic chocolate chip cookies and soda crackers, as well as some specialty creations, Marven’s Biscuits operated in Moncton, N.B. for over 70 years. Started by a salesman, his sweet idea for a new business became a staple in the community. Although Marven’s is no more, it’s still remembered by locals as the maker of some of their favourite childhood treats.

Tasty venture

Joseph A. Marven was a travelling salesman by trade, but in the early 20th century he decided to pursue a sweeter venture. In 1905, he purchased a bakery on Main Street in Moncton, N.B. and established J.A. Marven Ltd.

Under the Marven’s Biscuits brand, the factory produced a variety of cookies, biscuits, crackers, puddings, cakes and other sweet treats. It was an instant success with locals and quickly started to grow.


1931 aerial of Brown Holder Biscuits, and Botsford St. (Submitted photo)

Rising success

To increase production and meet demand for his tasty treats, Marven purchased an old cotton mill on Factory Lane after its closure in 1917 and converted it into a biscuit factory. By 1920, a staff of over 100 were working in Marven’s Biscuits’ local factory. A staple on kitchen tables in Moncton, Marven’s Biscuits products were also shipped across North America and as far as South America.

About ten years after moving to the new factory, due to his poor health Marven sold his business to Canada Biscuit Company who continued production of Marven’s Biscuits in Moncton. In 1931, new competition entered the market when two former employees decided to create their own biscuit company, Brown-Holder Biscuits. Both companies operated in close proximity for about 40 years with impressive success.

However, in the 70s, both businesses were acquired. Marvens was purchased by Weston and Brown-Holder by Dare. The Marven’s Biscuits factory closed shop in 1978.


An exhibit of old Marven’s Biscuits’ signage and packaging still on display at Resurgo Place (photo credit: Resurgo Place Archives)

Sweet memories

Although it’s been years since Marven’s Biscuits were made, many residents of Moncton still remember their childhood favourites from the brand. Suzanne Melanson and other members of a location-based Facebook Group recall being able to buy boxes of broken Marven’s Biscuits at a fraction of the cost. This was perfect for Melanson’s mother who had to feed a family of six on a single income. Melanson says the broken cookies tasted the same “so that’s what we grew up eating. Good memories.” Karen Quinn shared that she used to get extra excited when her favourite Marven’s marshmallow chocolate cookies were in the box.

Sandra Boudreau’s mother used to work at Marven’s Biscuits in the 60s. Although she was very young at the time, Boudreau still remembers her favourite—Marven’s graham wafer sandwich biscuits.


A modern view of Marven’s Building on Factory Lane (photo credit: Bill Jarvis via Flickr)

Still standing

A few years after its closure, the Marven’s Biscuits factory on Factory Lane was used as a lumber yard and was later renovated into office space. Still called Marven’s Building, the property is currently owned by Heritage Management and Bridget Murphy, Collections & Research Library Coordinator at Resurgo Place, says signage from when it was a biscuit factory remains on its exterior.

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