Home > About DOVE® > The DOVE®Story

The DOVE® Story

Leo Stefanos opens the DOVE® candy shop, on the south side of Chicago.

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Leo Stefanos slices a block of ice cream and dips it in premium chocolate. DOVEBAR® Ice Cream is born.

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Leo Stefanos passes away, leaving his son Mike to take over the family business.

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Mike Stefanos presents DOVEBAR® Ice Cream at the Fancy Food Show in Washington, D.C.; the order start coming in from around the country.

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Mars buys the Stefanos family business and makes DOVEBAR® a household name by making it more available nationwide.

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Chocolate gets deep when DOVE® PROMISES® Milk Chocolate and DOVE® PROMISES® Dark chocolate are launched. Each wrapper features an inspirational message printed on the inside.

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The DOVEBAR® Ice Cream's 50th birthday is marked with the launch of several new varieties of DOVE® products.

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DOVE® gets Swirled Away with the introduction of Raspberry & Dark Chocolate Swirl. Two luscious flavors beautifully swirled together in one silky smooth and delicious bite.

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DOVE® Dark Chocolate products begin to feature the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ Seal, meaning it sources 100% of its cocoa volume from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms. DOVE® continues to offer consumers the same delicious rich dark chocolate taste, with the added benefit of supporting cocoa farmers and a healthy environment.

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There is More to Love with the bigger DOVE® Chocolate Bar. DOVE®’s reformatted bar is now the perfect size to experience great tasting, high quality chocolate whenever or wherever you choose to enjoy it.

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CREATED WITH LOVE by Greek-American founder Leo Stefanos, DOVE® Chocolate has been a rich family tradition since the 1950s. Witnessing his son racing down the street after an ice cream truck, the Chicago candy store owner developed the DOVEBAR® out of concern for his children's safety. Hand-dipping ice cream in premium chocolate, Leo took months to refine the recipe, naming the new treat after his south side candy shop, a moniker chosen for its "peaceful" quality. Those first rich, creamy DOVEBAR® were an instant success, but it wasn't until Leo's son grew up and followed in his father's footsteps that DOVE® Chocolate became known from coast to coast. By the late '70s over one million DOVEBAR® were sold in a single year by street vendors to eager children and adults. The DOVEBAR® popularity soon caught the attention of another family of expert chocolatiers. M&M/Mars acquired DOVE® in 1986 as the crown jewel of their company, and refined DOVE® Chocolate's purity and taste before introducing milk and dark chocolate bars in the '90s.

Because DOVE® Chocolate creates chocolate indulgences and only chocolate indulgences, careful attention is paid to quality, ensuring a silky, smooth texture and delicious, lingering taste.

From DOVE® PROMISES® Chocolate to the now iconic DOVEBAR® Ice Cream; all of DOVE® Chocolate treats are made to savor. And every DOVE® Chocolate product is made with the same pride and care as it was by Leo Stefanos over 50 years ago.

Quick Facts

The Whole Scoop

The iconic DOVEBAR® Ice Cream began as a homemade treat created by Leo Stefanos, who wanted to keep his kids from chasing ice cream trucks through traffic.


What we call a DOVE® Chocolate Bar in the United States is known as a GALAXY® Bar in the UK.

Why The Name?

Searching for a soothing moniker, Leo Stefanos named his family-oriented candy shop DOVE® for its "peaceful" quality.


Silky smooth and undeniably rich, DOVE® PROMISES® Chocolates are a surprising 42 calories each.

Chocolate Science

Mars' patented COCOAPRO® process ensures that DOVE® Dark Chocolate retains much of the healthy cocoa flavanols.

Home > About DOVE > The DOVE® Chocolate Difference

The DOVE® Chocolate Difference

MADE WITH 100% PURE COCOA BUTTER, DOVE® Chocolate has an intoxicating scent, a glossy hue and a rich taste unsurpassed by other bars.

Always silky smooth on the tongue with a complex flavor, each DOVE® Chocolate product starts with only the best cacao beans, tested twice by expert Mars technicians for quality and flavor.

The perfect combination of chocolate liquor and cocoa butter, DOVE® has a balanced taste that is never too sweet or too bitter. Because DOVE® cares about every detail of the chocolate making process, you are always assured of delicious, lingering chocolate flavor.

Mars takes great care and maintains the highest standard of quality in manufacturing DOVE® Chocolate from the bean to bar, coupled with its special roasting and grinding – resulting in the signature silky smooth signature taste of DOVE® Chocolate.

To find out more about our Real Chocolate Promise, click here
To learn about our Cocoa Sustainability efforts, click here

Home > About DOVE > Mars Real Chocolate

MARS Real Chocolate

What makes DOVE® CHOCOLATE so silky smooth? DOVE® Chocolate's unique silky texture is accomplished through the combination of fine milling and the right mixture of ingredients of which cocoa butter plays a significant role. Mars is a family-owned company, and one of a handful of companies that make our own chocolate. Mars Snackfood U.S. is committed to making our chocolate— including DOVE® PROMISES® Milk and Dark Chocolate - only with real cocoa butter.

The U.S. Standard of Identity government regulations define what can be called "milk chocolate", "semisweet chocolate" and "bittersweet chocolate". These standards - require that cocoa butter (and a small amount of milk fat) are the only fats used. Unlike other chocolate bars that may use terms such as "chocolate-coating" "chocolately" or "made with chocolate," DOVE® Milk and Dark Chocolate products are clearly labeled as the real thing. With almost 100 years of chocolate-making history, Mars will continue to create delicious, real, 100% chocolate, just like DOVE® Chocolate.

To find out more about our Real Chocolate Promise, click here.

Home > About DOVE > Cocoa Sustainability

Cocoa Sustainability

THE PRODUCTION of cocoa isn't just the manufacture of yet another commodity. It is a tool for economic growth, social improvement and environmental stability, a crop whose impact is positive for both the body and the soul.

A $4 billion industry in the United States alone, 40-50 million people worldwide depend on cocoa for their livelihood. These businesses are small family farms. Planting cacao trees also reduces soil erosion, improves air quality and provides a habitat for animals, often preserving remnants of once-plentiful tropical forests.

From Ecuador to the Mekong Delta, sustainable cocoa farming has allowed farmers to create their own nurseries, build homes and escape poverty.

Unfortunately, cocoa farmers could lose large portions of their yearly production due to lack of education, insect pests or fungal plant disease, which is why Mars partnered with the Smithsonian Institute to organize the very first International Workshop on Sustainable Cocoa Farming.

Held in Panama in 1998, the workshop bonded together everyone from plant scientists to environmental activists to solve the problems small farmers face in growing a biologically diverse yet sensitive crop. The principles developed at the conference continue to guide Mars and our industry partners, and Mars remains a leader in cocoa sustainability research.

The holistic, proactive global partnership that began at that first workshop has launched a new era in cocoa production, ensuring responsible farming practices and a stable environment for the thousands of people who depend on cocoa for their livelihood across the globe.

To find out more about our sustainable agriculture efforts, click here.

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