Elmer Chocolate in Ponchatoula is carrying on a 163-year-old tradition as Easter approaches this weekend.

Not only are they the second largest producer of Valentine candy in the world, they have been a part of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas Easter celebrations.

"We've been a part of southeast Louisiana for a long time," CEO Rob Nelson said. "We've had the opportunity to be a part of people's Easter traditions. It's just one of those things that get handed down from year to year, generation to generation."

They started in downtown New Orleans in 1855 and have grown to employ 270 associates in Ponchatoula. Nelson says with their longevity, they know what Louisiana residents want for their Easter candy binges, the top selling Gold Brick Egg and Heavenly Hash egg. In fact, they still make it in the older part of the factory.

"The Easter product is still made the same way that we've always made it. I think if we stopped making it the same way, we would get all sorts of complaint letters. It's one thing we can't change."

Technology has helped change the way they can produce the candy. Nelson says their 2016 expansion allows them to produce different and new types of chocolate.

"We used to make on six different lines. All of those chocolates are now made on one line. It allows us to make premium upscale molded European like pieces."

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