In early 1830, Tom Smith started work as a young boy in a bakers and ornamental confectioners shop in London. He sold sweets such as fondants, pralines and gum pastilles. He worked hard and took particular interest in the wedding cake ornaments and decorations. He experimented and created new, more exciting and less crude designs in his spare time. Before long he was successful enough to start his own business in Goswell Road, Clerkenwell, East London.
Tom Smith was adventurous and forward thinking, often traveling abroad to search for new ideas. It was on a trip to Paris in 1840 that he first discovered the 'bon bon' -- a sugared almond wrapped in a twist of tissue paper. It was a simple idea which, over the next 7 years, would eventually evolve into the Cracker.
He decided to bring the 'bon bon' to London and during Christmas that year, they sold extremely well. In January however, the demand virtually ceased and once again he was reliant on sales of cakes, table decorations and ornaments. Anxious to develop the 'bon bon' idea further and to stimulate sales, Tom Smith decided to place a small love motto in the tissue paper. He encouraged his regular customers to take supplies, of which many did, and within a short while, orders were sufficiently high and sales profitable enough for him to increase his staff.
By now, Tom knew he had a unique and potentially very commercial idea. He decided to take a risk and concentrate on developing it further, while still running the wedding cake ornament and confectionery business which was by now, very well established. At this time, the majority of 'bon bons' were still sold at Christmas and Tom began to think up ways to capitalize on this short but very profitable season. He needed to make his 'bon bons' even more appealing. It was the crackle of a log as he threw it on his fire that gave him the flash of inspiration which eventually led to the crackers we know today.